The Dallas Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt and can take advantage of the last place Philadelphia Eagles at home Sunday, but key injuries to the offense could stifle the team's postseason aspirations.
The Cowboys are two games back of an NFC Wild Card spot, making their final five games, two against division opponents, crucial.
The Dallas rushing game has been dreadful this season. The Cowboys only gain an average of 78.7 yards per game, which is last in the NFL. Dallas has been plagued by injury woes, but it could get a shot in the arm if running back DeMarco Murray returns.
Murray has missed six straight games with a sprained foot sustained in Week Five against the Baltimore Ravens, but reportedly participated in practice Wednesday in a limited capacity. His status for Sunday is still unknown.
Dallas has relied on Felix Jones in Murray’s absence, but Jones has only five more total yards despite 21 more carries this season. Jones has played through a knee injury over the past few weeks, and could certainly use some relief if Murray returns.
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The injuries to the offense have also extended to the receiving corps. Miles Austin was also limited in practice Wednesday with a hip injury. Austin left in the second half of Dallas' 38-31 loss to the Washington Redskins last week, and had an MRI to determine the injury's severity.
Last season Austin sat out six games with a hamstring injury, so there is cause for concern in Dallas even though he returned to practice. Austin is third on the team in receptions with 49, and second in yards and touchdowns.
With the offense stuck on the trainer's table, Dallas will have to rely on their defense against the Eagles, especially their top pick in this year's draft.
Top rookie corner back Morris Claiborne has lived up to the hype, helping Dallas to the ninth ranked pass defense in the league, after they were near the bottom last season. Dallas moved up to the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft just to snag Claiborne out of LSU, and he’s racked up 32 total tackles and one interception through 11 games.