IRVING, Texas -- Sometimes when Pondering the 46, you have to figure out how to get a player to the game and not how to come up with seven inactive players.
That’s the case with receiver/returner Michael Spurlock this week against the Washington Redskins.
The Cowboys would not have signed him this week if they were pleased with their return game in Dwayne Harris' absence. Even if Terrance Williams didn’t have a strained hamstring, Spurlock would be here.
But how does he make it to the 46?
We know Dwayne Harris, Sean Lee and Morris Claiborne are out with injuries, even though Claiborne is officially listed as doubtful. Ernie Sims is likely to be out, too, but he is doubtful with a groin injury. We know Darrion Weems and Jakar Hamilton will be inactive.
Williams is listed as questionable. If he can’t play, then Spurlock gets that spot. If he can play, then the Cowboys will have to figure out where they go light.
It can’t be at linebacker. They have only five healthy linebackers. It can’t be on the offensive line. They have to take seven to the game. It can’t be quarterback, tight end, secondary or the specialists either.
We’re down to running back and defensive line. Phillip Tanner has special teams value, and if they need to run out the clock late I would think they would go with him if something happened to DeMarco Murray.
So now we’re down to the defensive line. Two weeks ago Everette Brown did not dress. Last week it was Martez Wilson. Jarius Wynn is questionable with a chest injury. They need to get after Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, so pass rush will be at a premium. I think they will carry all of their ends. That leaves newcomer Frank Kearse. Signed on Wednesday off the Tennessee Titans practice squad, he brings some size to the line, but that might not be enough to get him on the 46.
The inactives: Lee, Harris, Claiborne, Hamilton, Weems, Sims, Kearse.