Ware misses practice with sore back

Updated: January 7, 2010, 4:27 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are entering their playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles with nagging injuries to outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and running back Marion Barber.

Ware missed Thursday's practice with a sore back, and Barber was limited in practice with a bruised left knee. Both are expected to play on Saturday night against the Eagles at Cowboys Stadium.

Barber suffered his injury in the regular-season finale Sunday against the Eagles. The knee bothered him during Wednesday's practice and still was sore Thursday.

Barber, who leads the team with 932 rushing yards, might use a sleeve on the knee for support.

He has battled injuries all season. Barber suffered a thigh injury in a Week 2 loss to the New York Giants on Sept. 20 and he missed the next game at Carolina. But he hasn't missed any games since, even playing with a fractured thumb.

Ware's back bothered him Wednesday and remained sore Thursday. Team trainers sent Ware to a doctor for an examination. He leads the Cowboys with 11 sacks and 45 quarterback pressures.

The four-time Pro Bowler has not missed a game, but he has played with a stress fracture in his foot, a chipped bone in a wrist and a strained neck that forced him to the hospital.

Also, backup running back Tashard Choice (concussion) was a full participant in practice Thursday. Choice missed the past two days of practice as a precaution.

"They were just making sure I was OK," Choice said after practice. "I feel good and expect to play some."

If Barber's knee has issues, Choice could see more snaps in the playoff game, especially on first and second downs.

Right tackle Marc Colombo (ankle and leg), cornerback Terence Newman (knee), safety Gerald Sensabaugh (thumb) and safety Patrick Watkins (knee) were also listed on the injury report but fully participated in practice.

Watkins, who has missed the past three games with a sprained ligament in his left knee, worked with the scout team but doesn't expect to play.

"I'm running pretty good," Watkins said. "That's a good sign, but it's up to the doctors and trainers to tell me if I'm ready."

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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