IRVING, Texas — Dallas coach Jason Garrett insists the Cowboys aren't desperate. Evidence suggests otherwise.
The Cowboys (3-5) have lost four of their past five games heading into Sunday's matchup at Philadelphia. The Eagles have the same record, so logic suggests the loser won't have realistic playoff hopes the rest of the season.
“A desperate football team? I wouldn't say that at all,” Garrett said Wednesday. “You've heard me use the word urgent a lot around here. We believe in urgency 365 days out of the year. That's where we are right now. We have to be urgent in our preparation … getting ready for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.”
Defensive end Jason Hatcher agreed it's a game the Cowboys have to win, but like his coach dismissed the term desperate.
“We've dug ourselves a hole and we just got to keep fighting,” Hatcher said. “We've got the right guys to do it, we just have to go out there and believe and do it, stop talking about it and be the team that we're supposed to be.”
After the Eagles, the Cowboys play five of their next six games at home. And only one of their remaining eight games, Pittsburgh, is against a team with a winning record.
Dallas is still dealing with some serious injury issues.
Running back DeMarco Murray missed practice again Wednesday because of his sprained foot and could miss his fourth consecutive game. Felix Jones has been hurting, too, bothered by a bruised knee and a shoulder ailment, though he was listed on the team's practice report as a full participant.
Linebacker Dan Connor, who initially took over for Sean Lee after the leading tackler's season-ending big toe injury, missed the last game with a neck issue. He was limited in practice Wednesday.
After Connor got hurt, the Cowboys signed free agent Ernie Sims, and he wound up starting Sunday night's 19-13 loss at undefeated Atlanta.
With Connor's status still uncertain, the Cowboys signed linebacker Gary Guyton after placing linebacker Orie Lemon on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Guyton plays four seasons in New England, but hadn't played this season after being released by Miami at the end of training camp.
“We're hoping that Dan Connor will be back,” Garrett said. “We're a little thin there with the injuries so we just got to make sure we have another guy who can go in and play defense for us. We're hopeful at some point that (Guyton) can help us on special teams as well.”
Undrafted rookie running back Lance Dunbar shared the carries with Jones in Atlanta. Dunbar was cut at the end of camp, added to the practice squad then signed to the roster a month ago.
“He has a little something to him as a runner,” Garrett said. “Some quickness, some burst to him, a good feel, had good vision, so we just wanted to give him a chance in the game the other night, and I thought he did reasonably well.”
Dunbar denied he was feeling any extra pressure to step up. “You got to be comfortable, relax, have confidence in yourself and just do your job,” he said. “You do best when you don't put pressure on yourself.”