Cowboys Practice Update: Two Starters Back, Two Exiting Vets Absent

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - While Dallas Cowboys veteran quarterback Andy Dalton remains in concussion protocol following the brutal hit administered to him by Washington in Sunday's 25-3 road loss, Wednesday saw a return to the practice field here at The Star for a pair of other key starters.

All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, who sustained a concussion in Week 6's loss to Arizona, was back on the field indoors at Ford Center on Wednesday looking to add some talent and stability to an overmatched offensive line.

Meanwhile, Chidobe Awuzie, who has been out since Week 2 with a hamstring injury that landed him on IR, is working and could re-take his spot as a first-team cornerback in Sunday night's Week 8 game at Philadelphia.

However, safety Xavier Woods was absent during the media portion of the workout.

The Cowboys are also hopeful that center Joe Looney, who sustained a sprained MCL on the first play of the Cleveland game on Oct. 4, will return - though rookie Tyler Biadasz may keep the starting job there. (Looney could theoretically get work at guard.)

And linebacker Sean Lee worked on what appeared to be a limited basis and is pushing for his return to the field.

Meanwhile, Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley - who as we reported Monday, join the now-traded Everson Griffen as not being in Dallas' plans - were not present. CowboysSI.com has reported that they will likely be cut soon, assuming no trade develops well ahead of the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline.

READ MORE: BREAKING: Cowboys Trades Begin With Griffen to Lions

READ MORE: If No Trade, Cowboys Will Cut Two More Veterans

READ MORE: 'The Candymen': How Do Cowboys Grow Some 'Backbone'?

The big change in practice this week for Dallas is at QB, where Dak Prescott is out for the year and Dalton quite possibly out for the week. That pushes into the spotlight rookie Ben DiNucci, who performed mop-up duty in Washington.

READ MORE: 'The DiNucci Era' Begins: 'Cowboys Drafted Me For A Reason'

More immediately, coach Mike McCarthy's 2-5 Cowboys need to get DiNucci "progressing.'' The team recently added veteran journeyman Garrett Gilbert and he will be the No. 2 QB for at least part of the week. ... a week that will get a boost with Zack Martin and friends back in the fold.

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