Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ defense is about to get deeper and better

Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods celebrates after breaking up a pass during a game last season. Woods missed the first two games of 2018 with a hamstring injury but is expected to play against the Seahawks.
Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods celebrates after breaking up a pass during a game last season. Woods missed the first two games of 2018 with a hamstring injury but is expected to play against the Seahawks. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Consider how good the Dallas Cowboys’ defense has been the first two weeks of the season. Now consider that the unit hasn’t even played at full strength.

That should change Sunday in Seattle. Defensive end Randy Gregory and free safety Xavier Woods are expected to be available.

Tyree Robinson was waived to make room for receiver Brice Butler, but the return of Woods from a hamstring injury is the reason for Robinson’s release. Defensive tackle Aziz Shittu was released from the practice squad and was replaced by Adolphus Washington.

Woods missed the first two games after being injured in a preseason game on Aug. 18. Gregory missed Sunday’s game against the Giants after suffering a concussion in Week 1 at Carolina. Gregory went through the concussion protocol and practiced on Friday. Defensive end David Irving, who is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, will be available in Week 5 against the Texans.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Gregory seemed ready and good to go but the team’s medical staff advised against him playing. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on KRLD/105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning that both players are likely to play against the Seahawks.

“Randy appears that he’s going to be available to us. Xavier was a setback to us because he had as good a camp as anybody on the team,” Jones said. “Both of those players, with their unique skills really add to, which if you really start thinking about this defense, if you can add [something] to this defense right now then you must have some things to bring to the table. And they do. So, I’m glad we’re going to have them.”

Gregory was reinstated by the league in July after serving a year-long suspension for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse rules.

Both Gregory and Woods both took part in limited practice on Tuesday, Jones said.

“But there is an eye on them being available for the game at Seattle,” he said.

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