The Dallas Cowboys have ruled defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence out for Sunday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a back injury.
Lawrence didn’t practice all week and has been bothered by his back all season. He had surgery on it in the offseason. He played in only 13 of 67 defensive snaps in a 10-7 loss at New York last week.
This will be the first game Lawrence sits out with an injury this season. He missed the opening four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Lawrence had just one sack in nine games, but has been credited by the coaches with 13 quarterback pressures.
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With Lawrence out and defensive tackle Cedric Thornton (ankle) questionable, the Cowboys called up Zach Moore from the practice squad to take offensive tackle Chaz Green’s roster spot. Moore played in eight games with the New England Patriots in 2014, and one game with the Minnesota Vikings last season.
As expected, cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) remains out. But the secondary could see the return of safety J.J. Wilcox, who has missed the past two games with a thigh contusion.
Wilcox practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday, but feels he should be ready by game time.
“Once the swelling and blood went down, I was good to go,” said Wilcox, who has been credited with 43 tackles. “I’m just ripping and running like normal.”
In the end, though, Wilcox acknowledged that the decision would be left up to the team’s medical staff.
Other players questionable but who played last week are: safety Barry Church (forearm), wide receiver Dez Bryant (back), defensive end Jack Crawford (foot), long snapper L.P. Ladouceur (knee), offensive linemen Ron Leary (back) and Tyron Smith (back), linebacker Sean Lee (knee) and cornerback Orlando Scandrick (foot).