IRVING, Texas -- Jeremy Mincey's season is coming to an ignominious end.
Mincey, a 32-year-old defensive end, led the Dallas Cowboys with six sacks last season. He has yet to record a sack this season, and his playing time has steadily dwindled.
He was inactive on Sunday, despite being healthy. The Cowboys are playing Randy Gregory more at defensive end, Demarcus Lawrence is having a terrific season at left defensive end and Greg Hardy is always going to get the bulk of the available snaps.
Against the Buffalo Bills that meant Mincey found himself inactive for the first time in his two seasons with the Cowboys. Mincey is entering the final game of his two-year deal with the Cowboys, and it would be a surprise if the club re-signed him.
Mincey has provided leadership for a young group of defensive linemen, and he regularly made plays last season as the Cowboys went 12-4 and won the NFC East. It has been a different story this season.
He held out for a portion of training camp because he was disappointed after falling just a few plays short of getting a $500,000 playing-time incentive. Bone spurs in his right elbow left him unable to straighten the arm for much of the season, which obviously doesn't help a pass-rusher.
Mincey showed his versatility by playing some one-technique defensive tackle, which is almost like being a nose tackle in the Cowboys' scheme, along with Nick Hayden, Tyrone Crawford and Jack Crawford.
When the Cowboys promoted 340-pound Casey Walker it meant Mincey didn't have a spot to play.
"The biggest thing with Mincey was just the position," coach Jason Garrett said. "We've really been stretched at the nose tackle position, and we've been using a lot of different guys to spell Nick Hayden.
"Mince played a lot of snaps at nose last week, and that's not really his natural position. We do anticipate Mincey being up this week."