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Late in the season it’s not so rare to come up with more than seven inactive players.

In attempting to figure out the Dallas Cowboys’ 46-man active roster for Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders, it’s easy to come up with more than seven players to sit.

First, cornerback Orlando Scandrick (back), defensive end David Irving (concussion), linebacker Justin Durant (concussion) and wide receiver Brice Butler (foot) have been ruled out because of injury.

The Cowboys also don’t need a third tailback (Trey Williams) or a fourth tight end (Blake Jarwin).

You can make the case they don’t need an eighth offensive lineman (Chaz Green), ninth defensive lineman (Daniel Ross) or eighth defensive back (Bene Benwikere), too.

So when you get down to the final few spots, who brings the most value?

Let’s start with Benwikere. He has become a pretty big part of the special-teams unit, but if something were to happen to Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis or Anthony Brown at cornerback, Benwikere can step in and play.

Given the presence of Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, Ross makes some sense because he can bring size to the defensive line at 305 pounds. Ross has yet to play since the Cowboys claimed him off the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad, but his addition was made with a long-term view.

With La’el Collins getting two practices in for the first time in three weeks because of a back injury, Green would seem to be the most dispensable. With Byron Bell already active as the swing tackle, Green’s only real function without two injuries up front would be on the field goal protection unit. Is that enough value to dress on gameday?

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With Sean Lee likely to miss at least the next two games if not three because of a hamstring strain, Anthony Hitchens is ready to do an impersonation of the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive leader.

Hitchens will move from middle linebacker to the weak side, as he did when Lee missed two games earlier in the season.

The Cowboys have been a different defense without Lee. They gave up 35 points in losses to the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers without him in October. They gave up all 27 points without him last week against the Atlanta Falcons.

“Communication is huge, getting the guys lined up, and I’m going to be the guy making the calls if he’s out,” Hitchens said. “I’ll just try my best to imitate him and get everyone lined up. He’s going to help me throughout the week. At the end of the day, if he’s out, I’ve got to step up and play the Sean Lee role.”

There might be one exception.

“I try to shy away from the bad words,” Hitchens said. “But sometimes it comes out, you know? But then I have someone to blame for that.”

Hitchens has been credited by the coaches with 36 tackles and five tackles for loss. Against the Falcons, he had a season-high 10 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss and was among the few defensive bright spots in the loss.

With Hitchens moving to weakside linebacker, the Cowboys will go with Justin Durant and Jaylon Smith at middle linebacker. Lee might not be on the field Sunday and moving forward, but Hitchens will use him as a resource.

There is a big difference from the weakside and middle linebacker spots even if they are separated by a yard or two on the field.

“Every play you’re keying a guy, you’re keying a tight end, keying a running back,” Hitchens said. “It’s just different plays and different positions where your eyes are. Throughout the week, I’ve just got to work with Sean if he’s not playing and ask him, ‘What does he see on this play or this formation?’”