The Dallas Cowboys vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers is just days away, and just the sound of that typically stirs Super Bowl memories. But not this time. This time is all about who is healthy - and news from Oxnard tells us that DeMarcus Lawrence is moving in that direction.
On Tuesday, Cowboys defensive end Lawrence, coming off of back surgery, passed his physical, according to the team. He is therefore no longer on the Physically Unable to Perform list and he can begin working into practice.
Not playing yet. But practicing.
Everyone can debate the benefits of the Hall of Fame Game, and how much it actually resembles a regular-season game, but it's still an important step toward games that matter, and in a team's training camp schedule.
Just how many of the Cowboys' starters will actually play in the game remains to be seen, but with the injuries to starting quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and Lawrence, even the exhibition game has lost some of its appeal.
We believe Prescott for sure, and maybe Cooper, and Lawrence, too, weren't going to play that game anyway, but if this was a regular-season game, and those three were listed as inactive, it might be time to hit the panic button.
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Relax? Maybe. Dallas has two full preseason games, plus a joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams, all in the next two weeks.
But Prescott has not thrown a pass since he left Wednesday's practice early. Tests revealed a muscle strain in his right shoulder, but McCarthy went with backups Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush during Prescott's absence, so the offense still got a ton of work.
Cooper, Lawrence, and kicker Greg Zuerlein have not participated in any team-on-team drills during training camp, but the organization has not expressed any concern that they'll miss any regular-season action, and now we have positive movement on the Pro Bowl-caliber standout Lawrence.
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