Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry, the NFL leader with four interceptions, was out for the second straight game with a right high ankle sprain. Jacques Reeves started in his place.
Maroney was inactive even after the second-year back practiced some during the week. Morris, coming off consecutive 100-yard games while Maroney was out, was the starter for the second straight game after running for 102 yards last week against Cleveland in his first start for the Patriots.
Maroney had 252 yards on 54 carries in his first three games before being sidelined. In college at Minnesota, Maroney split carries with Cowboys running back Marion Barber.
Cowboys' Jones has terse exchange, apologizes Jerry Jones became curt during his weekly radio appearance when asked if the Cowboys have a leadership problem amid all the injuries the team has had to attempt to overcome this season.
Both teams come into what could be a Super Bowl preview featuring offenses and defenses that rank at or near the top of the league. The Cowboys and Patriots rank 1-2 in total offense, while New England is second in the NFL in total defense and Dallas is eighth.
Both teams feature star receivers -- Randy Moss of the Patriots and Terrell Owens of the Cowboys -- and both employ an aggressive, attacking 3-4 defensive scheme. In addition, each team has a solid, underrated offensive line and running back tandem, and tight ends Ben Watson of New England and Jason Witten of Dallas could be the X-factors in this game.
The Cowboys are playing for a little respect for the NFC, the Patriots are trying remain dominant in the AFC. We could go on and on with intriguing storylines in this game. There is no question this is going to be a great game.