After several weeks of bad news on the injury front, the Dallas Cowboys finally have something to celebrate as help appears to be on the way just in time for Thanksgiving. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy revealed that two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence will be activated from Injured Reserve, leaving the door slightly cracked that he could play against the Raiders.
McCarthy also confirmed that franchise left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to play on Thanksgiving. Smith last played against the Vikings on October 31 and will give Dallas a boost on their offensive line after struggling in Kansas City.
“I think you’ll see DeMarcus, he’ll be activated here shortly, in the near future,” McCarthy explained during his November 22 press conference. “So, he’s chomping at the bit.”
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Smith Is Expected to Play vs. Raiders
Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones along with McCarthy both indicated that Smith is expected to suit up against the Raiders. McCarthy provided a brief update on why there is optimism surrounding Smith’s status the day after the Cowboys’ loss to the Chiefs.
“Tyron, we’re definitely hopeful he’ll be ready to go,” McCarthy explained. “…Well, it was a big part of his workout yesterday [prior to Chiefs game]. Britt really wanted to push him yesterday and then everything was positive coming out of the workout and how he felt today. So, yeah tomorrow will be probably somewhere between a Friday mock game and a Saturday launch practice mode.
“So, it’ll be a heightened walk-through, jog-through type practice, and then our Wednesday practice will be the same speed that we do on Saturday. Hey, Tyron’s played a lot of football. I mean, he knows his body better than anybody, so if he’s ready to go he’ll be great, he’ll be in there, yeah.”
Lawrence’s Playing Status vs. Raiders Is Uncertain
It is good news that Lawrence is coming off the injured list, but it does not guarantee that the pass rusher will play against the Raiders. ESPN’s Todd Archer believes the Thanksgiving game is on the table for Lawrence to suit up but far from a certainty.
“Look for DeMarcus Lawrence to be activated off IR this week,” Archer tweeted on November 22. “Mike McCarthy did not rule out the chance of Lawrence playing Thursday vs. the Raiders. Lawrence has not played since Week 1 after breaking his foot in practice. …May have jumped the gun on the part of DeMarcus Lawrence potentially playing Thursday vs. the Raiders, but he will be activated off IR this week. More likely he plays vs. New Orleans after suffering a broken foot in practice in Sept. ‘He’s champing at the bit,’ McCarthy said.”
The Cowboys pass rush is getting healthy at the right time, but the team will still be without Randy Gregory until at least Week 13. McCarthy also admitted star receiver CeeDee Lamb has a chance to play on Thanksgiving if he clears the concussion protocol.