Shouldering The Load: Who Steps Up in Cowboys at Lions with Jeff Heath Out?

Mike Fisher

DETROIT - Today in Detroit, somebody else on the Dallas Cowboys roster is going to have to shoulder Jeff Heath's load - pun intended.

Sources told CowboysSI.com on Saturday that the plan for Cowboys at Lions included the Sunday deactivation of starting safety Jeff Heath due to his pair of ailing shoulders. Dallas even made a roster move to reflect that view, with backup offensive lineman Adam Redmond being shuffled to the Reserve/Injured list to made room for the activation of safety Josh Jones from their practice squad.

Jones has experience as a starter with the Green Bay Packers, though he'll surely play behind likely starter Darian Thompson, the former New York Giants starter who has subbed for Heath this year - including last week in the loss to the Vikings.

The Cowboys might also get help from promising rookie sixth-rounder Donovan Wilson from Texas A&M, though he's spent most of this season working through injuries.

Heath's absence has a trickle-down impact that extends beyond a Dallas defense that today could be challenged by Detroit's speedy skill-position players on offense. Heath is a core special-teamer, and a captain because of it. Jones has experience playing on special teams in Green Bay, but the Cowboys think the jump-out guy on special teams today could be ace C.J. Goodwin, who sources tell CowboysSI.com missed some midweek practice work due to a sore knee but is expected to go today.

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