The Dallas defense is still missing starters halfway through the preseason and will lose cornerback Orlando Scandrick for the first four games of the regular season because of a drug suspension.
The uncertainty isn't helping a unit trying to replace its two best players after a dismal 2013 showing.
Coach Jason Garrett says the Cowboys "have to live with the reality" of starting the season without Scandrick and the uncertainty surrounding other key pieces.
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Brandon Carr should play for the first time this preseason at Miami on Saturday night. Fellow cornerback Morris Claiborne's outlook isn't as clear because of a shoulder problem, and newcomers Henry Melton and Terrell McClain aren't likely to play at defensive tackle because of injuries.