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Dez Bryant inactive once again; DeMarcus Lawrence set to make season debut

Dez Bryant will miss his second consecutive game with a hairline fracture in his right knee, as expected.

The Cowboys announced their inactives for today’s game against the Bengals and Bryant is the most notable player on it. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is also out as he is still bothered by hamstring issues.

Active for the Cowboys is left tackle Tyron Smith, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and kicker Dan Bailey. Smith has missed the past two games with a back injury, but has been expected to return. He had started 55 straight games before being sidelined with the back injury.

Lawrence, who served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, makes his return and is expected to boost a lackluster pass rush. The Cowboys have only six sacks this season and Lawrence had a team-high eight a year ago. However, Lawrence’s status had been in question because of a setback he sustained in his return from offseason back surgery in January.

And Bailey had been bothered with a back issue himself, but got through practice well enough Friday that the team didn’t sign a free agent kicker before the 3 p.m. deadline Saturday. Bailey has missed field goals in consecutive games for only the third time in his career, although has not missed field goals in three straight games.

Bailey missed a 47-yarder last week at San Francisco, but connected from 22 yards and converted all three extra points.

Reserve running back Lance Dunbar is also inactive as he has been dealing with a left knee injury, and so is swing tackle Chaz Green (foot). Other inactives include quarterback Tony Romo (back), defensive end David Irving (concussion) and a healthy scratch in running back Darius Jackson.

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