Cowboys get several players back at practice

AP

When we last saw the Cowboys, their defense was getting overwhelmed by the Saints offense.

That unit was not at full strength in Week 10 and it won’t be back to full strength until linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant can return to the lineup, but it looks like they’ll be a little closer for this weekend’s date with the Giants. The team’s website reports that defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, safety J.J. Wilcox and cornerback Morris Claiborne were all on the field on Wednesday, which leaves Lee and Durant as the only regulars not practicing with the team.

Hatcher has had an excellent season on the interior of a Cowboys line that’s been ravaged by injuries and they’ll need more of the same from him coming off a stinger if they’re going to navigate the back end of the schedule well enough to advance to the postseason. Wilcox, who had a knee injury, should reclaim the starting role he had before he got hurt while Claiborne will try to put a happy end on what’s been a disappointing second NFL season.

Wide receiver Miles Austin, who owner Jerry Jones said would make his return this week, also took part in practice on Wednesday.