Cowboys testing 53-man roster limits

IRVING, Texas – When the Cowboys play Philadelphia on Sunday, Dallas will be without four defensive starters from opening night, as well as a quasi-starter in cornerback Orlando Scandrick.

On Monday, Bruce Carter joined Barry Church, Sean Lee and Kenyon Coleman on injured reserve, and Scandrick is three days removed from left hand surgery that will keep him out at least a few weeks, if not longer.

“We don’t anticipate him being available immediately,” coach Jason Garrett said of Scandrick, “but we’ll see how he progresses.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher did not finish the Thanksgiving game against Washington because of a concussion. Nose tackle Jay Ratliff has a groin injury. Cornerback Mike Jenkins missed two of the previous three games with a back injury but appears to be over that hump.

“That’s the nature of the league,” Garrett said. “It’s a long season. You have to be able to withstand different injuries that happen to your football team. That’s just part of the deal. The next man up philosophy is alive and well with the Cowboys and always has been. So if you’re part of the 53-man roster you better be ready to play. Our players understand that. We preach that to them all the time. You have to be ready sometimes to have a role going into a ballgame and that role changes. You have to be ready for what that other role is and be prepared for it.”