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Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo is back, but team limps through practice

By The Sports Xchange
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is back from a shoulder injury, but even with him head coach Jason Garrett will need all the help he can get. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1619659e39c370f172e4ed872709d99f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is back from a shoulder injury, but even with him head coach Jason Garrett will need all the help he can get. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

IRVING, Tex. -- The Dallas Cowboys altered their practice schedule this week because of a lengthy injury report that includes 14 players but not quarterback Tony Romo, who is coming back from a broken left collarbone.

Romo doesn't have to appear on the injury report until he is officially on the roster.

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The team went through a longer walk-through period in the morning, and tightened up their afternoon practice session. They are expected to have a similar routine on Thursday.

"We've got a lot of guys that are banged up," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We've got a lot of work in our walk-throughs to really deal with some of the guys who are banged up and won't be able to practice fully."

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The long list of injuries to varying players, range from shoulder (Brandon Carr, Jeff Heath) to back (DeMarcus Lawrence) to toe (Kyle Wilber).

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Wide receiver Dez Bryant (foot/knee) and cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring/ ankle) were two of the more notable players who didn't go through the practice portion.

The Cowboys continue to take a cautious approach with Bryant, who missed five weeks with a broken right foot and then injured his right knee while making a touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9.

Claiborne exited last Sunday's game just before halftime with a hamstring injury. Garrett added Wednesday that Claiborne is dealing with an ankle injury, and continued to say he is day-to-day.

Other players who didn't participate in practice included safety Barry Church (ankle), wide receiver Brice Butler (hamstring) and defensive end Ryan Russell (abdomen).

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Among the limited participants were Carr and Heath (shoulders), and Jeremy Mincey (thigh).

--Quarterback Brandon Weeden was released by the Cowboys and claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans. Weeden was released because of the return of Romo and because he was surpassed as the backup by Matt Cassel.

Weeden, 32, was with the Cowboys since 2014, serving as Romo's primary backup. But he went 0-4 in games he started when Romo was injured.

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Weeden lost his lone start against Arizona last season, and then went 0-3 in his stretch filling in for Romo this season. Weeden has not won a game in which he started since his rookie season in 2012, with the Cleveland Browns.

--Linebacker Sean Lee returned to practice for the first time since leaving the Week 9 game against Philadelphia with his second concussion in five weeks.

--Wide receiver Dez Bryant did not practice Wednesday because of knee, foot and ankle injuries. He should play against the Dolphins.

"He's just dealing with a few different things," head coach Jason Garrett said. "It's his foot. It's his ankle. It's his knee. Lot of different things, but Dez is one of the toughest guys I've ever been around and he comes to work every day. Certainly comes to work on Sundays.

"He's a great competitor, so he's going to do what he needs to do to get himself ready to play."

--Running back Robert Turbin was signed to the team to give the Cowboys another veteran running back behind Darren McFadden after Christine Michael was released on Tuesday.

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The four-year veteran has appeared in 50 career games with the Seahawks and Browns, rushing 249 times for 988 yards.

The Seahawks waived Turbin before the season with an injury settlement after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the third preseason game. The Browns claimed him, and he spent five weeks recovering from the injury. In three games with Cleveland this season he had 18 carries for 60 yards.

--Linebacker Mark Nzeocha has been activated from the reserve/non-football injury list. The Cowboys had a three-week window to add the rookie Nzeocha to the active roster after he began practicing Oct. 28. The seventh-round pick had been rehabbing the knee injury he suffered in his final college season at Wyoming.

--Cornerback Deji Olatoye has been signed to the roster from their practice squad. Olatoye, who has been on the practice squad the entire season, will take Corey White's spot as the fifth cornerback. The Cowboys signed him to the practice squad Sept. 9 after the Chiefs waived him at the end of training camp. He spent time on the Chiefs and Ravens practice squad. The Cowboys waived Corey White on Tuesday.

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