IRVING, Tex. -- Running back Darren McFadden and the Dallas Cowboys' running game needs to get back on track and become a consistent force as it was last season. The Cowboys rushed for just 42 yards and 31 yards in two of their last three games against Tampa Bay and Carolina.
McFadden averaged less than two yards a carry in each of those games, gaining 32 yards on 17 carries against Tampa Bay and 11 yards on 10 carries against the Panthers. There is a concern about whether workload is taking a toll on McFadden, who has never carried the ball this much in a career that has been filled with injuries and disappointment during a previous seven-year stint in Oakland.
"I don't see something in him that suggests something that happened the previous three (games with a high carry count) prevented him from having success the next week," head coach Jason Garrett said.
--Tackle Chaz Green was drafted in the third round hoping he would serve as the team's swing tackle after losing Jermey Parnell in free agency. But Green had to undergo hip surgery in June, putting him on physically unable to perform and forcing the Cowboys to cycle through several swing tackles before signing Charles Brown in September.
Green returned to practice on Nov. 11, and has shown enough that the Cowboys felt it was worth activating him.
"It was a great feeling," Green said. "I feel good to go. I feel good. I feel like this time I've had with the trainers in the weight room I feel like they've done a great job preparing me. I feel like I'm good to go whenever my name is called."
--Cornerback Byron Jones is back to starting at safety after starting at cornerback the past two games with Morris Claiborne injured.
"I'm not particularly great at any position yet, so I'm just bouncing around until I find a home," Jones said. "At some point I'd like to settle down, but right now I'm just happy to play some football honestly."
The versatility Jones has showed in the secondary is something the Cowboys have liked since the day they used their first-round pick on him. Jones has nine passes defended over the past six weeks, including two against the Panthers on Thanksgiving when he filled in for Claiborne at cornerback for the second straight week.
"He's done a lot of good things at different spots for such a young player," head coach Jason Garrett said. "It's not like he hasn't played these positions before. He played safety for two years in college and played corner for two years. I think he's demonstrated a comfort level at each of them."
--Cornerback Morris Claiborne will return to the lineup Monday night against the Redskins. The starting cornerback missed the past two games with a right hamstring injury. He injured it against the Bucs on Nov. 15, leaving the field after 23 plays.
"I can't wait. I can't wait," Claiborne said. "It's a Monday night game. I'm excited for that, excited to be back on the field."
Claiborne, a first-round draft pick in 2012, has missed 21 games in his career with injuries.
--Wide receiver Dez Bryant has produced only one 100-yard game in the six games he has played this season. Bryant missed five games this season with a fractured right foot that required surgery on the fifth metatarsal. He's also had recent ankle and knee injuries that have slowed him.
On Thursday, the Cowboys listed Bryant as a full participant in a full practice for the first time since his injury in the season opener. That has Bryant ready to turn back into Dez Bryant.
"I'll tell you this: This is the best I ever felt ... since I've been back playing," Bryant said. "Yeah, this is the best I've felt. I tell you that. I'm still getting better. I'm getting better. I'm more confident. I give a lot of credit to my teammates, especially this guy standing right next to me - Devin Street. We stay on one another, and we try to keep a positive attitude, and I think that goes a long way."
Bryant, who made the All-Pro team for the first time last season, has caught 23 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns this season. His season-best game came against the Eagles on Nov. 8 when he caught five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.