Lance Dunbar may start for Cowboys

Updated: November 21, 2012, 5:01 PM ET
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Undrafted rookie Lance Dunbar might be the Dallas Cowboys' starting running back Thursday against the Washington Redskins with DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones listed as doubtful and questionable, respectively, for the game.

Murray did not practice this week and was not spotted on the practice field on Tuesday or Wednesday, leading to the likelihood that he will miss his sixth straight game because of a sprained foot. He was listed as doubtful last week leading up to the Cleveland game and did not play.

Jones, who has started in Murray's absence, did not practice the past two days because of injuries to both knees. He will be a game-time decision.

If neither can play, the Cowboys would turn to Dunbar, who has 67 yards on 20 carries this season, and Phillip Tanner, who has 61 yards on 25 carries, as their top two running backs against the Redskins.

No. 3 wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, meanwhile, has been ruled out with a concussion.

The Cowboys will go with Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley as their top backup wide receivers to Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Center Phil Costa (ankle) and defensive end Sean Lissemore (ankle) also have been declared out.

Left tackle Tyron Smith took part in a limited practice for the second straight day, but he did not take a snap with the first team during the portion of the session that was open to the media and is listed as questionable. Smith could dress for the game but serve as the backup to Jermey Parnell, who would make the first start of his career.

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff did not practice during the week and is also listed as questionable. If he can't play, then Josh Brent would start.

Center Ryan Cook (knee) is doubtful, and safeties Danny McCray (hip) and Charlie Peprah (concussion) are questionable. Peprah was able to take part in a limited part of Wednesday's practice.

Cornerback Mike Jenkins will return after a two-game absence because of a back injury. He is listed as probable with tight end John Phillips (ankle) and fullback Lawrence Vickers (knee).

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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