The Dallas Cowboys appear healthier coming out of their Week 11 bye, as defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and wide receiver Miles Austin were back at practice Monday morning, according to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins.
Hatcher has been bothered by a stinger for over a month and missed the team’s Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints. Hatcher, who had played in 35 consecutive games before the injury, leads the team with seven sacks.
Austin was also inactive against the Saints. The two-time Pro Bowler has been limited by a hamstring issue that has rendered him irrelevant in the Cowboys offense for much of the season. After grabbing 10 catches in Week 1, he’s had just five receptions for 53 yards since and hasn’t found the end zone all season.
The 5-5 Cowboys currently sit a half-game out of the NFC East lead behind the Philadelphia Eagles, who grabbed the division lead with a win over the Washington Redskins while Dallas rested in Week 11. The Cowboys will get a chance to pull even as they face the New York Giants this Sunday.
Reports have been swirling that Ben Roethlisberger wants a trade, but if that’s true he has a funny way of showing it. There’s something to be said for a struggling Steelers team that’s still able to beat the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger is smart enough to see this team only needs a few more pieces to compete once again, and the team’s young players will be successful with a year of experience.
Detroit was cruising in the first half on the back of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, but the issue as the game went on was a lack of snaps for Reggie Bush. This season has shown that the Lions thrive when Bush gets touches, but against the Steelers he was limited to 14 total opportunities. It was a case of bad coaching forcing too many deep throws, rather than simply getting it to Bush in space.