Roy Williams, Marion Barber to sit

Updated: December 19, 2010, 12:28 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys will be missing two starters for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium.

Wide receiver Roy Williams will miss his first game this year with a strained groin, and running back Marion Barber is out for the third consecutive game with a strained calf.

This is the second time Williams will miss a game with the Cowboys since he was traded to the team from Detroit in 2008.

Williams, who has 36 catches for 524 yards and five touchdowns, injured his groin in practice this week. He tried to practice Friday but had trouble pushing off when he started running routes. The receiver tried to warm up before Sunday's game, but he appeared to struggle with that as well.

Sam Hurd, who has just eight catches on the season and 39 in his five-year career, will start in place of Williams.

Besides Hurd, receivers Manuel Johnson and Jesse Holley are also active for the game. Holley and Johnson have never caught a pass in an NFL game and Johnson is making his NFL debut Sunday.

Miles Austin, the most accomplished receiver of the unit, will start alongside Hurd.

The Cowboys are also missing rookie wideout Dez Bryant, who is tied for the team lead with six touchdown receptions. He is out for the season with a fractured ankle.

Expect the Cowboys to go with more two tight end sets involving Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett.

Witten and Bennett combined for 11 catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week.

In games where Witten leads the team in catches and yards, the Cowboys are 1-3. If he leads in just catches, the team is 3-4.

Also inactive for the Cowboys are QB Tony Romo, LB Leon Williams, DE Clifton Geathers, C Phil Costa, OT Sam Young and OT Jermey Parnell.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his 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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