Ware going to be a game-time decision

Updated: December 17, 2009, 4:56 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware participated in Thursday's walkthrough and is expected to make the trip for Saturday's game at New Orleans.

Whether Ware plays is uncertain. He'll be a game-time decision as he's still recovering from a strained neck.

Ware is listed on the Cowboys' injury report as not participating in practice, but the team doesn't have to list his game status until Friday.

Ware, who suffered the injury in Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers, has recovered quicker than the team expected, and it's given them hope he can play.

"You know he brings another dimension to the defense," defensive end Marcus Spears said after Thursday's session. "I hope he's out there. If not, we've got to roll [without him]."

Said quarterback Tony Romo: "I told him, 'You've got to do the right thing for your health, but you're going to play.' "

If Ware is unable to play, Victor Butler will take his place in the starting lineup. Ware is expected to wear a neck brace for Saturday's game.

During Thursday's walkthrough, Ware jogged out to the field just after stretching ended and worked out with strength and conditioning coach Joe Juraszek and associate athletic trainer Britt Brown.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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