With a tough road game coming up in New Orleans on Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys will be happy to get back their top safety and punt returner. According to one report, Xavier Woods and Tavon Austin are returning to practice today after recent absences.
Woods suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 against the Redskins. He sat out last week against Miami, but the initial 4-6 week recovery timetable that was reported appears to have been way off the mark.
Austin has been out for two weeks due to a concussion from the Giants game in Week 1.
Source: The #Cowboys will get back FS Xavier Woods and WR Tavon Austin in Wednesday's practice.
NT Antwaun Woods and WR Michael Gallup will not practice.
It's only Wednesday, so there's still time for Antwaun Woods and Michael Gallup to get back to practice and play against the Saints. Woods could potentially return from his knee sprain, but Gallup is highly unlikely this soon after having a minor surgery to repair a meniscus tear.
As for the players we know are coming back, Xavier Woods will move right back into his starting role after Darian Thompson filled in against the Dolphins. The team's best safety in coverage, Woods will be important to Sunday's gameplan in trying to slow down a Sean Payton offense.
While backup QB Teddy Bridgewater only had 177 passing yards last week, he still had two touchdowns and led a road victory in Seattle.
Getting Tavon Austin back is no small thing, either. With Gallup missing at WR, Austin can provide some depth on offense and give Kellen Moore a different kind of weapon to work with.
But it's punt returns where Austin may provide the biggest boost. He's a natural talent there with big play potential, as we saw last year, and this game could come down to just a few major moments.
If you're a Cedrick Wilson fan, don't worry. Even if Tavon gets his PR job back this week, Wilson should stick around for WR depth at least until Gallup returns.
Many are looking at the Saints game as the Cowboys' first real test of 2019. Thankfully, it appears we're getting two important players back to help.