FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys defense approaches Thanksgiving dealing with a short week ... and dealing with being a bit short-handed, too.
The Cowboys have essentially ruled out linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods for this Thursday's home game against the Buffalo Bills. And there are concerns about safety Jeff Heath's available as well.
Heath is listed as "limited'' from practice on Tuesday as he deals with injuries to both shoulders - with one of those shoulder problems having been re-aggravated when he made a big hit in last week's loss at New England. He exited the game only briefly, but continues to be in obvious discomfort.
Vander Esch has a lingering neck injury and has essentially been ruled out for a second straight game. A source tells CowboysSI.com that Dallas hasn't "closed the book'' on Vander Esch returning to the field this year, but "cautious optimism'' might be the best way to phrase his situation.
Woods, the run-stopping tackle, is out with a sprained knee.
Offensive linemen La’el Collins (knee), Zack Martin (elbow, back, ankle) and Connor Williams (knee) are also on the Tuesday report as "limited'' but all are expected to play.