Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys open practice for must-win game vs. Eagles without seven starters

The Dallas Cowboys (3-3) are riding a three-game losing streak and are admittedly facing a must-win game against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) in a showdown for first place in the NFC East Sunday.

And they could be severely short handed.

The Cowboys were without seven starters when they resumed work Wednesday, forcing embattled coach Jason Garrett to shorten practice and limit individual drills.

Center Travis Fredrerick (personal), receiver Amari Cooper (quadriceps), receiver Randall Cobb (back), left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle), right tackle La’el Collins (knee), cornerback Byron Jones (hamstring) and cornerback Anthony Brown (hamstring) did not practice the day after the team put defensive tackle/end Tyrone Crawford on injured reserve.

Frederick should back on Thursday.

Smith and Collins missed last Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the New York Jets. Smith has missed the last two games. Cooper, Jones and Brown were injured in the Jets game.

None are certain for Sunday’s game against the Eagles though the Cowboys are monitoring them as day-to-day.

Crawford is expected to undergo season-ending hip surgery on Monday.

The team signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, 26, to take his place. Hamilton has played eight career games with one start in stints with the Bills, Seahawks, Eagles and Chiefs.

Hamilton was on the Seahawks’ practice squad in 2016 when Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard was the Seattle defensive coordinator.

The Chiefs cut Hamilton out of the preseason.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.
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