Smith is officially listed as questionable on the injury report after not practicing the entire week. While they believe practice helps a player, Smith has enough experience to get by without any work during the week. A factor in the decision is the Thanksgiving game against the Los Angeles Chargers. It's possible Smith could play tonight and then be held out against the Chargers because of the quick turnaround.
As for the rest of the inactives, the Cowboys know they will not have Sean Lee, Jeff Heath and Dan Bailey because of injuries. Lee is battling a hamstring strain and is likely to miss the next three games. Heath is in the concussion protocol. Bailey has a groin injury and will miss his fourth straight game.
Geoff Swaim was inactive a week ago because of a knee injury that he thought might have required surgery. He returned to practice this week, albeit in a limited manner, and should play, which means rookie Blake Jarwin, who played decently in his first game, will not be needed.
The Cowboys claimed defensive tackle Daniel Ross off the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad last week. He could be ready to go in an emergency but the Cowboys are not in emergency mode along their defensive line.
The final spot comes down to preference. Do the Cowboys want a sixth linebacker, Justin March-Lillard, active with Lee out? He can help on special teams. Do they need a sixth receiver? Noah Brown can play on all of the special- teams units and help offensively. Ryan Switzer is the returner but is a niche player offensively. Would the Cowboys consider going with just two tailbacks in Alfred Morris and Rod Smith and keep Darren McFadden inactive? McFadden played just one snap last week. That seems a bit risky.
The guess at the inactives is: Bailey, Lee, Heath, Tyron Smith, Jarwin, Ross and March-Lillard.