The Ravens got some bad news Sunday morning when the team ruled out top cornerback Jimmy Smith because of a back injury.
Smith was officially listed as doubtful to play, but his return to practice Friday did create some optimism. Smith has been the team's best cornerback and one of the top defenders all season, and his absence leaves the Ravens in a tough spot against Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant. Shareece Wright will likely start in Smith's place.
The only other time Smith missed significant action this year was in a Week 6 loss to the New York Giants, when a concussion forced him out of the entire second half. Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. then went off for a huge day, finishing with 222 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Ravens will also be without veteran outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who will miss his fifth-straight game with a foot injury. Dumervil returned to practice this week, but he isn't quite ready to get back to game action. His foot injury has been a problem since last season, and has limited him to just two games this year.
The other inactives for Baltimore are tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh), left guard Alex Lewis (ankle), guard/center Ryan Jensen, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and cornerback/return specialist Asa Jackson.
Despite being without Smith and Dumervil, the good news for the Ravens was that Pro-Bowl guard Marshal Yanda is active after missing three of the last four games with a shoulder problem. Getting Yanda back is significant for an offensive line that's already without Lewis in the starting lineup.
The Ravens hope that Yanda's return helps solidify an offensive line that's been in flux all season.
For the Cowboys, they will be without starting cornerback Morris Claiborne and safety Barry Church. Their other scratches are quarterback Mark Sanchez, running back Darius Jackson, linebacker Mark Nzeocha, offensive tackle Chaz Green and defensive end Benson Mayowa.
Quarterback Tony Romo is active for the first time since the season opener and will back up Dak Prescott.