Dallas Cowboys

Terrell McClain, Tony Romo return to Cowboys practice Friday

Cowboys DT Terrell McClain proves his ankle is healthy with Friday morning dance-off

by Jared L. Christopher
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by Jared L. Christopher

The ‘Dancing Bear’ returned to practice on Friday morning.

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Terrell McClain, who is affectionately known as the ‘Dancing Bear’ by defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, started off the final practice of the week by doing his trademark dance moves during stretches.

McClain has been sidelined with an ankle injury sustained during the Dec. 26 game against Detroit. Friday marked the first time he practiced since the injury. Coach Jason Garrett said McClain practiced on a “limited” basis.

“It’s coming along great,” McClain said. “It felt great being back out there today.”

McClain, who primarily plays nose tackle, finished the regular-season with 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight quarterback pressures. He fully expects to be ready for the Cowboys’ divisional round playoff game scheduled for Jan. 15.

Asked if he’d be ready for the playoffs, McClain said: “Oh yeah. They just wanted to see what I could do today and everything is working out.”

Also returning to practice was backup quarterback Tony Romo. The veteran was sent home Thursday with “flu-like symptoms.”

Cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) practiced for the second straight as did defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford (shoulder/ hamstring), DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and Cedric Thornton (ankle).

Left tackle Tyron Smith (knee) worked on the side once again. Garrett addressed Smith’s situation, saying the All-Pro left tackle has “done a good job” in his rehab.

“He’s dealt with some different things, obviously, over the year,” Garrett said. “Most recently he’s dealing with a knee injury. He’s worked very hard at his rehab. He worked on the side the last couple days, so we’re optimistic he’ll be healthy and ready to go.”

Linebacker Justin Durant (elbow) also didn’t practice, but said he is feeling “pretty good.” He is hopeful to return to practice next week and remains optimistic about being ready for the playoff game.

“Going to wait it out, though,” Durant said. “I’m not going to put my team in jeopardy and go out there if I’m not ready to go.”

Offensive guard La’el Collins (toe) did some individual work for the second straight day.

Star-Telegram Cowboys writers Clarence Hill and Charean Williams say this is the Cowboys best chance in years to capture a sixth Super Bowl trophy in team history.

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