How the bye could impact Ware, Austin

IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys report for practice on Wednesday they hope to have DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin on the field.

Ware has missed the past three games with a quadriceps strain. Austin has missed four of the past six games with a hamstring strain.

Of the two, Ware is considered to be the closest to returning, but the Nov. 17 bye week will figure into the team’s decisions on both players.

It could mean different things for both of them. Facing a pass-oriented offense this week in the New Orleans Saints could give Ware a chance to make a calculated return with most of his work coming in the nickel defense. With the bye week the following week, Ware would then have an extra week of rest before the Cowboys play the New York Giants on Nov. 24.

The Cowboys admitted to shutting down Austin last week in hopes of his hamstring getting right for the stretch run. More rest would do him more good than playing in a limited role, like he did against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in which he did not catch a pass.

One player will be out through the bye is cornerback Morris Claiborne, who has a hamstring strain and did not play in the 27-23 win against the Minnesota Vikings.