DeMarco Murray practices, but still isn’t expected to play

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Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray must have passed some of the tests the Cowboys needed him to pass in order to return from a sprained foot because he was able to get back onto the practice field Thursday.

Murray took part in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media, his first time back on the field since he was injured against the Ravens in Week Six. Murray has missed the last three games, leaving the Cowboys shorthanded at running back as they slumped to losses in each of their last two contests. Calvin Watkins of reported Murray was jumping and catching passes without any obvious problems.

Watkins still doesn’t expect Murray to play on Sunday, an opinion that got some backing from Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones reiterated his previous comments about wanting to make sure Murray is at full strength before the team exposes him to the pounding he’ll take as a tailback.

“No question, he’s starting to get better,” Jones said. “He’s got to be 100 percent before we put him out there.”

If Murray is able to show coaches and trainers that his foot is up to a pounding, he could find himself getting to 100 percent (or the football world equivalent anyway) in time to wind up on the field against the Eagles. We’ll get a better idea about the chances of that happening when the Cowboys release their final injury report on Friday.