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Waiting On The Cowboys Initial Injury Report

Early-week focus on the upcoming opponent has given way to the weekly ritual of injury-watching for Cowboys fans. The Cowboys will return to the practice field later today, ready to move past the slugfest victory over Washington and focus on the 3-0 Detroit Lions. It's a short week coming off of the Monday night win, and as such injuries have about 32 hours less of healing time. That's something that hurts even more against the relatively healthy Lions.

In the Redskins win, the team got a huge performance out of Felix Jones, but he reinjured his shoulder and missed the last drive (#GetOutOfBoundsTashard). It will be interesting to see his status, as well as Terence Newman's. The cornerback reportedly had a bit of a head concern, but was cleared to finish the game out. CB Mike Jenkins continues to battle through a shoulder injury that is in dire need of some time off, but he returned to the game after some missed plays.

The biggest injury appears to be Jason Hatcher's calf strain, which underwent an MRI on Tuesday. The sixth year veteran and first time starter was making a mark as a defensive lineman for Rob Ryan. If he misses the Detroit game, will be replaced by Kenyon Coleman, who had a dominant game stopping the run, but is less of a pass rushing threat than Hatcher.

WR Miles Austin is expected to miss the game and get two more weeks of rest to hopefully be ready to face the New England Patriots after the bye, but the Cowboys don't have the luxury of skipping this week. it would be a pleasant surprise to get him back, as the offense clearly suffers when he isn't in the game. Romo's broken streak of 20 straight games with a passing TD happened to coincide with Miles Austin ascension in the 2009 game against Kansas City.

WR Dez Bryant didn't appear anywhere near 100 percent, but finished the game and should be good to go. Rumors of a Doug Free back injury are floating around. That might explain the falloff of his play from the 2010 version.

Oh yeah, Tony Roma's Romo's ribs escaped the DeAngelo Hall Barbecue Situation. He is expected to suit up barring any setbacks, and get another week of recovery time. His roomie, TE Jason Witten, said after the game that his ribs were tenderized, but he should be alright.

The mash unit rolls on as Jason Garrett will have to continue to call on the 'next man up'.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.