Asante Samuel, Winston Justice Out for Eagles vs. Cowboys
Samuel, who leads the NFL with seven interceptions despite missing three of Philadelphia's 12 games, tried to practice on Wednesday but couldn't get back on the field the next two days.
"I wouldn't call it a setback, but ... some things were uncomfortable," Samuel said on Friday, also the last day that coach Andy Reid met with the media.
"He didn't feel very good on Wednesday, so we backed off of him," said Reid, whose 8-4 Eagles have a showdown for the NFC East lead next Sunday the New York Giants, who are also 8-4.
"If the other guys play, the other guys (Hanson and rookie Trevard Lindley) play. I have full confidence in them. the last couple of games I was proud of what they did. But again, you're talking about Asante. He's a great player. Would you like him to be in there? Yeah, absolutely. But the other guys sure did a nice job."
The Eagles are 2-1 without Samuel this season. Hanson has started five games, two when Philadelphia opened with three cornerbacks. Dallas lost its star third receiver Dez Bryant to a broken leg last Sunday so Hanson and Dimitri Patterson, a backup until he replaced the injured Ellis Hobbs last month, will spend most of Sunday night covering starters Miles Austin and Roy Williams. Sam Hurd figures to replace Bryant.
As for Dunlap, Reid said, "He's probably more comfortable on the right side than the left. ... You go back to the offseason where he put on weight (20 pounds) and when you're that tall (6-foot-9]\), he bends very well, but ... he can't be quite as light as he was last year (310). And so he really lived in the weight room and added good strength.
"So I think with that, then his extended playing time he's had this year has helped him confidence-wise. He's got a big challenge. You know, it's a big challenge. They have a good defensive line, but I think everybody has confidence in King."
The Eagles are 1-1 with Dunlap in the lineup. Sunday's game will be Justice's first absence since the fifth-year man became a starter last season. Peters draws Cowboys Pro Bowl pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Dunlap will battle Anthony Spencer.