NFL Nation: kyle wilber

Dallas Cowboys' projected roster

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
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IRVING, Texas -- Examining the Dallas Cowboys' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

The Kyle Orton watch is over now that the Cowboys released the veteran backup. The timing of it is a surprise, and Jason Garrett spoke optimistically all offseason about Orton’s return. Now the Cowboys turn their attention to Weeden as Romo’s backup. Weeden had a productive spring, running the first-team offense as Romo recovered from back surgery. The Cowboys haven’t kept a third quarterback since 2011, and Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan will have work to do to crack the 53-man roster

RUNNING BACKS (4)


The last two spots could be up in the air. Randle, a fifth-round choice, will be pushed by free-agent pickup Ryan Williams in the preseason. Williams, a former second-round pick, was not able to stay healthy in Arizona. The Cowboys have given him a chance to win a backup job. Clutts did a nice job as a late-season pickup in 2013. He is more versatile than undrafted rookie J.C. Copeland, but I don’t think having a fullback on the 53-man roster is set in stone.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)


I debated whether to go with a sixth, but later on you will see why I stuck with five. It is possible the Cowboys will look for a veteran in the final cuts if they feel limited by their depth because of injury, but I think they like the overall group. They will work their No. 3 receiver role on a rotation basis, but Beasley could emerge as a bigger threat on third down. There will be a lot of eyes on Williams, who takes over the No. 2 role on a full-time basis. Bryant is set for another Pro Bowl-type season.

TIGHT ENDS (3)


Witten remains near the top of the game at his position. His total catches were down last year, but his touchdowns were up. Escobar’s role figures to expand, especially as a No. 3-type receiver. Hanna has the inside track on the third spot, but I have a feeling the Cowboys will be looking for more of a traditional blocker, especially if they want to get away from the fullback spot to open up a role elsewhere.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9)

The top six are set, with Bernadeau or Leary fighting it out for the left guard position and the loser becoming the top backup on the interior. Parnell is in the final year of his deal, and if Weems develops, I wonder if the Cowboys would look for a trading partner. They have invested a lot in Parnell in time and money for him to be a backup, so it would be a risk, but perhaps one worth taking. Weems had a decent offseason. Clarke gets the nod as the No. 9 guy right now, but veteran Uche Nwaneri could work his way into the mix.

DEFENSIVE LINE (10)

I think the Cowboys will go heavy here, especially considering what happened last year and the numbers they have thrown at the position this year. Four of them are rookies -- Lawrence, Gardner, Bishop and Coleman. I believe Anthony Spencer and possibly Amobi Okoye will start the year on the physically unable to perform list, so they don’t make this 53-man roster with the idea that they join the team after the sixth game of the season. Wilson garnered the last spot over a 2013 starter, Nick Hayden, but there will be a few players in the mix for the final few spots, including Ben Bass.

LINEBACKER (7)

Carrying seven linebackers might be a little heavy, but I have special teams in mind when it comes to Will Smith. He benefits from having only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. The Cowboys spent the offseason telling us games are won and lost up front, so carrying an extra offensive or defensive linemen could get in this mix as well. McClain gets a spot only because of his experience. Backups of Holloman, Hitchens and Smith would be tough considering their youth, and I can see the Cowboys looking for veteran backup help around the final cut dates.

CORNERBACK (5)


Carr and Claiborne have to play exceptionally well for this defense to have a chance, and they might have to do it without much help from a consistent pass rush. Scandrick is coming off his best season, and Claiborne will have to beat him out to reclaim the starting spot. Moore can play inside and out. Mitchell showed in his limited offseason work that he can make plays. Last year’s fourth-round pick, B.W. Webb, will have to fight for a spot. Based on his offseason work, he did not make the cut for this roster.

SAFETY (5)

Church is the only player without questions. The Cowboys are projecting the other four with their biggest bet on Wilcox. He enters camp as the starter, but he could be pushed by Heath and Hamilton. Dixon will be more of a special-teams threat if he is to make the roster. Hamilton showed some playmaking in the offseason. No Matt Johnson? Not right now, especially after he couldn’t practice -- again -- for most of the offseason.

SPECIALISTS (3)


Perhaps Cody Mandell can push Jones, but Jones is the more consistent punter and has a good rapport as a holder for Bailey. Ladouceur remains one of the best long-snappers in the game. This group won’t change during the summer unless there is an injury.
IRVING, Texas -- Rod Marinelli likes what he saw from his Dallas Cowboys defense in the spring.

The defensive coordinator liked that he has more players along the defensive line. He likes the linebackers’ “movement skills.” He likes how cornerbacks Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne can play man-to-man. He likes the growth J.J. Wilcox made at safety opposite Barry Church.

[+] EnlargeBarry Church and Morris Claiborne
Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsDallas defensive backs Barry Church and Morris Claiborne didn't have much to celebrate during 2013.
But there’s something else Marinelli likes about the group.

“I think there’s something to prove a little bit,” Marinelli said. “Not something to prove from last year, but there are some guys coming here off the street with something to prove. There are some guys in contract years with something to prove. There are some guys coming out saying, ‘I want to be a better player,’ who have something prove.

“You get that many guys wanting to prove something, then you can become better. Right now what I like is how hard they’re going after their craft.”

Last season was a mess for the Cowboys' defense. It has been referenced so many times this offseason that “32nd-ranked defense” has been tattooed on everybody. The Cowboys gave up 6,279 yards in 2013 a year after giving up a franchise-record 5,687 yards. Five quarterbacks had four-touchdown games against the Cowboys. Two times in a three-week span, they allowed more than 620 yards. The New Orleans Saints had 40 first downs.

“It definitely bothers us,” Church said. “I’m speaking for myself, but it definitely bothers me. But there’s nothing we can really say or prove different. We were 32nd in the league and we weren’t that good on the defensive side of the ball. This year, the only way we can counter that is by playing good and becoming one of the better teams in the league at taking the ball away and against the run and the pass.”

It’s not just the players. The tag falls on the coaches, too.

“Nobody wants to look at last year and take ownership of that, but we have to,” secondary coach Jerome Henderson said. “And we’ve got to get better from there, and we cannot let that happen again.”

Oh, and now the Cowboys have to show they can be better in 2014 without the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks, DeMarcus Ware, who was cut, last year’s leader in sacks, Jason Hatcher, who signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins, and their best playmaker, Sean Lee, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in organized team activities.

But the sense is that Marinelli likes it this way. He had ubertalented defenses with the Chicago Bears with guys like Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman. He won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with guys like Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, Simeon Rice, John Lynch and Ronde Barber.

He doesn’t have an Urlacher, Sapp, Brooks, Briggs, Rice or Lynch with this group.

He has Henry Melton, whom he coached to the Pro Bowl with the Bears, trying to prove he can come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He has Bruce Carter trying to prove he is a big-time player in a contract year. He has Claiborne, a former sixth overall pick in the draft, trying to prove he is not a bust. He has Carr trying to prove he is worth the five-year, $50 million contract he received in 2012. He has George Selvie trying to prove he was not a one-year wonder after putting up seven sacks last season. He has Tyrone Crawford trying to prove he can come back from a torn Achilles.

He has low-cost free agents such as Terrell McClain, Jeremy Mincey and Amobi Okoye trying to prove they can be prime-time players. He has Justin Durant trying to prove he can be a middle linebacker and Kyle Wilber trying to prove he can be a strongside linebacker. He has Rolando McClain trying to prove that a player who has retired twice in the past year has the desire to keep playing. He has DeMarcus Lawrence trying to prove that a second-rounder can make an impact as a rookie. He has Wilcox trying to prove he can play strong safety.

He has guys like Church and Scandrick trying to prove that they can put up solid seasons in back-to-back years.

So much to prove. So much to forget.

“The first thing you do is you take it as coaches and players and you take accountability for it,” Marinelli said. “And no excuses. Now we look forward. Now it’s about the expectations of this group and with expectations you have to execute. It’s that simple. That simple, yet that hard.”

Jared Allen option not likely now

March, 19, 2014
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Allen
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' search for defensive line help is not over with the addition of Henry Melton, but their push for Jared Allen will not be quite as intense, according to sources.

Allen wrapped up a visit with the Cowboys on Tuesday before they agreed to a deal with Melton.

Allen would be the Cowboys’ best defensive end, but at what price? He has had seven straight seasons with at least 11 sacks, but he turns 32 in April and the Cowboys were not willing to pay a hefty price for DeMarcus Ware or Julius Peppers.

With Ware and Jason Hatcher gone, George Selvie is the leading returning sacker from 2013 with seven. Jeremy Mincey, who signed a two-year deal worth a maximum of $4.5 million last week, had two sacks with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos in 2013. Kyle Wilber, DeVonte Holloman, Bruce Carter and Orlando Scandrick had two sacks apiece for the Cowboys.

Allen has also visited with the Seattle Seahawks.
On the eve of the start of free agency, the Cowboys have expressed some interest in Denver weakside linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

Woodyard
Woodyard compiled 84 tackles, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups in 2013. In the past two seasons, Woodyard has 10 pass breakups and four interceptions.

Last year, the Cowboys used the free-agency period to sign veteran linebacker Justin Durant to a two-year, $2.3 million deal with $400,000 guaranteed.

Durant battled injuries last season as the strongside linebacker, playing in 10 games before getting placed on injured reserve. The Cowboys could promote Kyle Wilber to the starting role at strongside linebacker and create competition on the weakside spot for Bruce Carter with a veteran signee.

If the Cowboys release Durant, it'll save the team $1.25 million on the salary cap.

The Cowboys are looking for upgrades along a defense that finished last in total yards (6,645), 30th against the pass (4,589) and 27th against the run (2,056) last season.

2014 Cowboys free agents: Ernie Sims

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
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Sims
Ernie Sims
Position: Linebacker
Type: Unrestricted
2013 salary: $840,000

Summary: Sims played in 12 games, starting six because of Bruce Carter’s ineffectiveness and injuries to Justin Durant and Sean Lee, but he had a hard time staying healthy as well, dealing with a groin injury. He had 42 tackles and forced a fumble.

Why keep him: He played for new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli in Detroit and knows the scheme to the point where he can play all three linebacker spots. He will be a physical presence on a defense that needs as much physicality as possible.

Why let him go: He was out of position too often last year, looking for the big hits. The development of Kyle Wilber and DeVonte Holloman gives the Cowboys younger and less expensive options at the backup spots. They can also play on all of the major special teams' units, which Sims did not do.

Best guess: It’s time to move on.
IRVING, Texas -- In this copycat league that is the NFL, all of a sudden everybody needs tall and long conerbacks like Seattle’s Richard Sherman. One problem, there aren’t that many of those kinds of guys around.

Plus from a Dallas Cowboys’ perspective, they have already allocated their cornerback resources in Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Orlando Scandrick. So scratch that possible remodel.

Where the Cowboys can attempt to emulate the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is with their defensive line.

[+] EnlargeDeMarcus Ware has reached double-digit sacks for seven consecutive seasons, but he'll need four sacks in the final three games to keep the streak alive.
AP Photo/James D. SmithFor years, Dallas has relied on DeMarcus Ware to provide a pass rush. Adding depth to the defensive line could be a priority this offseason.
The Seahawks do what Rod Marinelli wants to do with the Cowboys. He just did not have enough quality players, rolling through 20 defensive linemen in 2013 because of injuries and poor play.

Seattle’s defensive line accounted for 33.5 sacks from eight players. The Cowboys defensive line had 28 sacks from six players.

Michael Bennett led the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks. Fellow free-agent pickup, Cliff Avril, was second with eight. Clinton McDonald had 5.5, and Chris Clemons had 4.5

Jason Hatcher led the Cowboys with 11, followed by George Selvie with seven and DeMarcus Ware with six. Kyle Wilber had two sacks from his defensive end spot before he was switched to outside linebacker later in the season. Everette Brown and and Jarius Wynn each had one sack.

The Cowboys want to rotate defensive linemen as much as possible to keep them fresh. That is a great approach when you have players worthy of being in the rotation. In the Super Bowl win against the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks had four linemen take at least 41 of 69 snaps, led by Bennett, who played 47. In the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, they had four linemen take at least 31 of 55 snaps. In the divisional-round win against the New Orleans Saints, they had five linemen take at least 43 snaps.

That rotation kept opposing quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Drew Brees under pressure. The pressure could come from the inside or the outside. And it would come with mostly just four rushers, which allowed that back seven to be even more aggressive.

For far too long the Cowboys’ pass rush has been Ware and nobody else. This past season it was Hatcher, and sometimes Selvie and Ware. The Cowboys hope Tyrone Crawford can develop after missing last season with an Achilles injury, but the defensive line needs a ton of help.

For the Cowboys to make a jump in the defensive rankings -- forget being a top-five or 10 unit -- they need a better pass rush. For a better pass rush, they need better players. To get better players in free agency they need to hope the defensive line market is as slow as it was in 2013 when Bennett received a one-year, $5 million deal, and Avril received two years and $15 million from the Seahawks. That could allow Dallas to either keep Hatcher (unlikely), or get lucky with some other prove-it type deals. The easier way to get better players is the draft, but will the right players be available at the right time?

If the Cowboys get a better pass rush, their secondary will look a lot better.

Cowboys on 6th different LB trio

December, 22, 2013
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LANDOVER, Md. -- With Sean Lee (neck) and Ernie Sims (groin) inactive for Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys will be starting their sixth different grouping of the season at linebacker.

Rookie DeVonte Holloman will start at middle linebacker for Lee with Bruce Carter at weakside linebacker and Kyle Wilber at strongside linebacker. Carter is returning from a one-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

The other pairings used this year (from strong to weak): Justin Durant, Lee, Carter; Sims, Lee, Carter; Wilber, Sims, Carter; Wilber, Lee, Carter; Wilber, Durant, Sims.

Wide receiver Dwayne Harris, safety Jakar Hamilton, cornerback Morris Claiborne, defensive end Martez Wilson and tackle Darrion Weems are also inactive.
CHICAGO -- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dwayne Harris is active, which could be a big boost to the special teams, but linebacker Justin Durant is inactive.

Harris
Harris missed the Thanksgiving Day game against the Oakland Raiders because of a hamstring strain and was only a limited participant in Saturday's practice. Durant will miss his third straight game. He was probable entering the game. He has been working his way back from a hamstring injury.

With Durant out, Kyle Wilber will start for the third straight game at strong-side linebacker.

Cornerback Morris Claiborne, safety Jakar Hamilton, linebacker DeVonte Holloman, defensive end Everette Brown, tackle Darrion Weems and linebacker Orie Lemon are inactive.

Harris is averaging 14 yards per punt return and 31.3 yards per kickoff return. Terrance Williams fumbled the opening kickoff against the Raiders and saw it returned for a touchdown. Cole Beasley served as the punt returner.

Cowboys survive Sean Lee's absence

November, 28, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are undefeated without star middle linebacker Sean Lee this season.

That's not a trend they intend to test.

All indications are that Lee, who strained his hamstring in the Nov. 10 loss to the New Orleans Saints, will be back for the Cowboys' final four games. He said after the Cowboys' 31-24 win over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday that he'd be “surprised” if he isn't ready to practice next week and play in the Dec. 9 game against the Chicago Bears and beyond.

[+] EnlargeDallas' Kyle Wilber
AP Photo/James D. SmithKyle Wilber recovers a fumble at the Raiders' 2-yard line. The Cowboys scored on the next play.
Those games are even more critical after the Cowboys managed to win a couple of games with Lee on the sideline. The much-maligned Dallas defense, which is ranked last in the league in total yards, did its part during Lee's recovery time to keep the Cowboys in the NFC East race.

“You've got to give a ton of credit to a lot of these guys that stepped up, guys like Kyle Wilber and Ernie Sims,” said Lee, who played a critical role as a quasi-assistant coach the last couple of weeks, helping prepare Wilber and Sims to play new positions in the linebacker corps. “They've put a ton of work in. They've been unbelievable and a huge reason we've been able to win.”

Nobody is pretending that the Cowboys' defense dominated the last two weeks. That's certainly not the case.

The New York Giants ran the ball down Dallas' throat, with running backs Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs combining for 202 yards on 30 carries. But Dallas' defense held the Giants to 21 points and scored a touchdown of its own on Jeff Heath's 50-yard fumble return, doing its share to shut up the loudmouth Giants.

Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin was determined to make sure the Raiders didn't beat Dallas with the running game, putting eight men in the box on a regular basis. That strategy didn't work out so well in the first half, when undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin completed 11 of 15 passes for 146 yards to help Oakland take a 21-14 lead into the break.

It's less than ideal that ex-Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes (seven catches for 136 yards) had a career day -- really, those numbers are better than his previous career total -- but the defense again did enough to win the game with its best player wearing sweats.

Kyle Wilber, who might hang on to the starting strongside linebacker job even when Justin Durant is ready to return from his hamstring strain, recovered a fumble at the Oakland 2 to set up a touchdown when Dallas' offense desperately needed a spark. Cornerback Brandon Carr came up with an interception in the end zone to deny a Raiders threat. And the Cowboys' defense held Oakland to only three points after halftime.

The defense's performances certainly haven't been perfect without Lee, but the Cowboys' record has been.

“I'm not surprised that we've been able to win some games,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said, “but we just missed him a lot.”

Lee expects to return next week, and the Cowboys hope to keep the momentum rolling.

Rapid Reaction: Dallas Cowboys

November, 28, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys' 31-24 win against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday.

What it means for the Cowboys: Things started poorly when Terrance Williams fumbled the opening kickoff and Greg Jenkins returned it 23 yards for a score just 12 seconds into the game.

It was the quickest touchdown given up by the Cowboys in their history, but they were able to overcome a 14-point second-quarter deficit to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East with the win.

At 7-5, the Cowboys lead the division by a half-game over the Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) and are two games over .500 for the first time this season and the first time since Week 15 last season when they moved to 8-6.

The Cowboys will enter December with control of their fate and on a little bit of a roll. Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass in the 25th straight game and improved to 6-1 on Thanksgiving for his career.

Stock watch: Lance Dunbar, rising. Needing a boost, the Cowboys found it in Dunbar, the second-year running back from North Texas. He had 78 yards rushing in the third quarter that set up touchdowns by Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. He finished the game with 82 yards and was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury.

Defense turns it around: Struggling is nothing new for the Cowboys’ defense, but the Raiders had their way with them in the first half. In putting up 21 points, Oakland gained 185 yards and converted on four of seven third-down opportunities.

The saving grace was a fumbled snap by Matt McGloin that Kyle Wilber recovered at the Oakland 3 that the Cowboys turned into a touchdown.

In the second half, things were much improved. The Raiders had one first down and just 25 yards to start the second half as the Cowboys tied the game in the third quarter and took the lead for good on the second play of the fourth quarter.

Cornerback Brandon Carr rebounded from a poor first half to intercept McGloin on an underthrown ball in the end zone to Jacoby Ford. The Cowboys turned that into a clinching Dan Bailey field goal with 1:56 to play.

Finding the end zone: Murray might have been usurped as the star of the ground game by Dunbar, but he contributed the first three-touchdown game of his career.

The last Cowboys running back with three rushing touchdowns in the same game was Julius Jones, who had three in a 43-39 win against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 6, 2004.

The Cowboys have nine rushing touchdowns on the season. A modest total, but the most they have had since 2010 when they had 10.

What’s next: The Cowboys have a mini-bye of sorts until the play again on Dec. 9 at the Chicago Bears. While winning the NFC East is the best and easiest way to make the playoffs, if the Cowboys want to have any wild-card hopes they almost have to win this game.

Dallas Cowboys to alter lineup

November, 24, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There are no surprises with the Dallas Cowboys' inactives: Jakar Hamilton, Sean Lee, Justin Durant, DeVonte Holloman, Darrion Weems, Andre Smith and Everett Dawkins. There is some good news for the Cowboys on the New York Giants' front: Hakeem Nicks is inactive.

Ernie Sims will start for Lee and Kyle Wilber will start for Durant at strongside linebacker.

Wilber moved to linebacker during the bye week from defensive end. He was an outside linebacker when the Cowboys ran a 3-4 last year.

Morris Claiborne will return to the lineup after missing two games. He is listed as the starter on the flip card, but Orlando Scandrick should start with Claiborne coming in on the nickel package.

J.J. Wilcox will return to the lineup but the Cowboys will use a rotation at the spot like they did against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jeff Heath worked with the first team during the week and the Cowboys could break out a three-safety look for their sub package with Barry Church moving closer to the line of scrimmage.

Nicks has an abdominal strain. He has yet to score a touchdown this season but he had five catches for 114 yards against the Cowboys in the season opener.

Holloman has neck examined, LB added

November, 21, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- Already thin at linebacker with Sean Lee and Justin Durant out with hamstring injuries, rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman is getting his neck looked again after some soreness from Wednesday's practice.

Holloman has missed the last four games with a spinal contusion. He returned to practice last week but Wednesday was his first full-padded workout since getting hurt prior to the Oct. 20 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

He was slated to start at strong-side linebacker in Durant's absence. The Cowboys moved Kyle Wilber to linebacker last week and also have Kyle Bosworth and Cam Lawrence available.

The Cowboys also signed Orie Lemon off the Arizona Cardinals practice squad. Lemon spent parts of the 2011-12 seasons with the Cowboys, mostly on the practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.

To make room for Lemon on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys will have to make a roster move.

'Next man up' makes plays for Cowboys

November, 4, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A week ago Everette Brown was at the Dallas Cowboys' Valley Ranch facility preparing for a workout. On Sunday, Brown played a big role on the defensive line in the 27-23 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Brown
Brown had a strip sack of quarterback Christian Ponder on the final drive of the game and was credited with two tackles and a quarterback hurry.

“We’ve had a little sequence here where we bring them in on Wednesday and they play on Sunday,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve been doing that for about eight weeks. I think one of those guys we brought in Wednesday (for practice) had a sack for us, so the ‘next man up,’ philosophy is alive and well with our football team and certainly our defensive line.”

Brown wasn’t the only new face. Jarius Wynn, who signed with the Cowboys on Oct. 15, started in place of Kyle Wilber, who had replaced DeMarcus Ware for two games. Wynn had one tackle and a hellacious hit on Ponder on Nick Hayden's fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Drake Nevis played a ton with Marvin Austin knocked out in pre-game warmups because of a back strain and Jason Hatcher and Hayden knocked out in the game because of a stinger and back injuries. Nevis signed on Sept. 24. Austin signed on Oct. 21.

“Just going out there, working hard, listening to the coaches and really just diving in and knowing what to do when that time comes,” Wynn said.

DeMarcus Ware out again

November, 3, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware will miss his third straight game with a quadriceps strain.

Ware has not practiced since leaving the Oct. 13 game against the Washington Redskins. He did some drills in practice off to the side last week but he did not do anything on the field in pregame warm-ups.

Kyle Wilber will replace Ware in the starting lineup and Everette Brown, who signed with the Cowboys last Monday, is active.

With the Cowboys playing against the pass-oriented New Orleans Saints next week, it makes more sense to keep Ware out an extra week in order for him to be healthier.

Miles Austin is missing his second straight game and fourth in the last six with a hamstring injury. Morris Claiborne (hamstring), J.J. Wilcox (knee), DeVonte Holloman (neck), Darrion Weems and Andre Smith are also inactive.
Wilcox
IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' injury list grew a little longer when an MRI revealed that starting safety J.J. Wilcox suffered a sprained right knee in Thursday's practice.

If Wilcox is unavailable for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, the Cowboys could move Danny McCray or rookie Jeff Heath into the lineup beside the other starting safety, Barry Church.

Cowboys defensive end Kyle Wilber also underwent an MRI on Thursday, but they didn't say what his health issue was other than it was more of a precaution.

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