Cowboys at Bears Injury News: Dallas Still Ailing on Defense
FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys will have one more full practice today before they board Wednesday's charter flight to Chicago, which gives them just a short time to get healthier for their meeting with the Bears.
In coach Jason Garrett parlance, today "is a Tuesday that's a Friday.'' In medical parlance, though, weak-side linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and the injury once billed so mildly as a "neck stinger'' almost surely has him "out'' for Thursday at Soldier Field.
Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee), like Vander Esch, missed last week's loss to Buffalo and was unable to practice on Monday. Safety Jeff Heath (shoulders) also sat out Thanksgiving and Monday.
That's three starters that Dallas could be without, as defensive assistant Kris Richard addressed here at The Star.
“He's a big piece of our defense,” Richard said of Vander Esch. “He’s a starter. He earned the position. He’s earned the right to go out there and get it done, and right now, when you’re down a starter, it’s essentially that. Fortunately, we do have good players who are able to step in and fill that role.”
Sean Lee (dealing with a pec injury) will once again play in Vander Esch's spot. If Woods can't go, Christian Covington gets his job. Heath's replacement is Darian Thompson (who is dealing with an arm injury), though rookie Donovan Wilson might get a shot, too.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (foot) was the other defender listed as limited.
On offense, receiver Randall Cobb (illness) missed. Offensive linemen Tyron Smith (Achilles), Zack Martin (elbow/ankle) and Tyron Smith were limited. All should play Thursday, as will receiver Amari Cooper, who underwent a knee MRI after the Buffalo game but is pronouncing himself "good to go.''