Rest more important for Cowboys than prep

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has decided rest is more important for his players than to begin early preparation for the Chicago Bears.

The Cowboys returned to Valley Ranch Tuesday for the first time since beating the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving, but will not do any on-field work until Thursday with the Bears game coming on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

“On days like this in the past, sometimes we've gone out and had a light practice, but we just felt like it was better to come in and get in and get them to lift and run and get the blood flowing again,” Garrett said. “Got to get them thinking about Chicago and then get into a normal work week and today is really Monday for us, so we treated it as such and tomorrow’s Tuesday and come back to work on Thursday as if it is a regular Wednesday.”

The Cowboys will have played two games in 28 days before playing the Bears.

Linebacker Sean Lee is expected to play against the Bears after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Linebacker Justin Durant could also return against Chicago. There is a chance cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Dwayne Harris could play against the Bears, but the feeling is they will need another week before coming back.

The time off also helps give Jason Hatcher (stinger), DeMarcus Ware (quadriceps), Dez Bryant (back) Miles Austin (hamstring) and other banged up players a chance to heal more.

“We wanted to make sure we maximized their time off and give them as much a chance to refresh mentally and refresh physically and reload for this next opportunity,” Garrett said.