FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys practiced on Wednesday in preparation for the team's Tuesday, Dec. 8 game at Baltimore, and after the session here at The Star in Frisco, hunkered down together - with safe spacing - to watch the Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers afternoon NFL game.
But during the outdoor session: Defensive end Aldon Smith was not on the field due to an illness. And defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and running back Ezekiel Elliott spend most of the media-open portion on the cords with the training staff.
Additionally, offensive tackles Zack Martin and Cameron Erving continue to be unavailable. Martin could miss at least a month with a calf strain sustained in the Thursday loss against Washington. Erving's timetable with his knee, coach Mike McCarthy suggested, could allow him to return sooner. might be a little shorter than Martin's, McCarthy said.
Also, cornerback Anthony Brown did some sideline work as he's trying to return to the field despite his rib injury.
The Cowboys are 3-8 and have five games left in a regular season that sees them dangling between contention in the NFC East and a top-four pick in the April NFL Draft. They are also in a difficult spot emotionally, as part of the end of this week will be devoted to their Thursday morning virtual attendance of the funeral of assistant coach Markus Paul.
"Anticipate,'' McCarthy said of all the chances and challenges, "that this is the new norm.".