Cowboys leave Philadelphia healthy, ready for playoffs
10:00 AM CT
ESPN Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Garrett couldn’t say it during the week leading up to Sunday’s season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he could after.
“We had different objectives coming into the game,” Garrett said. “There were going to be certain guys who weren’t going to play this game because of injury. We held a couple guys out, a guy on each side of the ball. And then we had a plan for a few other guys about how much we wanted them to play.”
Ezekiel Elliott never got the chance to go after Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record. Sean Lee, the team’s leading tackler, was active but did not see a snap. Neither did Ronald Leary, who did not practice during the week because of a back injury.
“Sean’s been doing a helluva job all year long dealing with some different injuries,” Garrett said, alluding to a knee injury that has limited his work in practice the last three weeks. “Obviously he’s as productive a player as we have on our team, fought through some things a lot during the last couple of weeks. It just felt like it was the right thing to do with him, to keep him out. Obviously Zeke has gotten a tremendous workload over the course of the year, been a really important player for us. I thought this was a good opportunity to keep him out, freshen him up and also give some of the other guys an opportunity to play.”
Dak Prescott played two series. Jason Witten and Dez Bryant played three series. In the second half, cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr and safety Barry Church were held out. Byron Jones saw action only in the sub packages in the second half.
“Everybody wanted to play,” Garrett said. “Even the guys we took out at different parts of the game wanted to stay in, that’s the nature of them. They’re competitors, but they understood what the objectives were.”
Tyron Smith (knee, back), Morris Claiborne (groin), Justin Durant (elbow), Tyrone Crawford (shoulder, hamstring), DeMarcus Lawrence (back), Cedric Thornton (ankle) and Terrell McClain (ankle) were inactive and did not even make the trip to Philadelphia.
Garrett said they would all be available when the Cowboys play in the divisional round.
And perhaps more importantly there were no injuries from those who did play Sunday.
“It seemed like from the information I’ve gotten that we are doing OK on the injury front,” Garrett said.
That is more important than a victory on the field.