Jones: DeMarco Murray could have played

DETROIT -- There was a thought starting running back DeMarco Murray would play for the Dallas Cowboys in Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions. But Murray missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left knee.

Murray's absence might have surprised Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones.

"I think DeMarco Murray could have gone," Jones said after the Cowboys' 31-30 loss to the Lions. "I don’t know what risk we would have taken with him, but he could have gone."

Murray was limited in practice this week and said if he was practicing he expected to play.

The Cowboys might have been being cautious with Murray by sitting him out another week. His replacement, rookie Joseph Randle rushed for 26 yards on 14 carries. Lance Dunbar also rushed for 16 yards on five carries.

Starting defensive end DeMarcus Ware and wide receiver Miles Austin also missed the game with injuries. Ware has a thigh injury and he could return for next week's game against Minnesota.

Austin's return from a hamstring injury is uncertain. The Cowboys have discussed shutting him down until he gets 100 percent.

Injuries have become an interesting topic around the Cowboys after the team released defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.

Ratliff's agent, Mark Slough, disputed the severity of his injuries. Team officials said Ratliff underwent a sports hernia surgery last year, but it was later revealed it was a much more severe injury.

Slough said Ratliff tore muscle off his pelvic bone and that it would take a year to recover.