Cowboys rookie safety J.J. Wilcox returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since the death of his mother.
Wilcox played in the second preseason game against the Raiders on Aug. 9. He returned to Oxnard with the team and then flew to home Georgia be near his mother, who was dying of lupus.
He missed practice last week and the preseason game against the Cardinals Aug. 17, as the Cowboys gave him all the time he needed to mourn and take of his mother's affairs.
The funeral was this past Saturday, the same day as the game.
Wilcox was back at practice on Wednesday and should play in the preseason game against the Bengals Saturday night.
His departure didn't jeopardize his spot on the team but it did set back any chance he had of competing with Will Allen for the starting spot at free safety.
Allen has been very good in camp and has all but secured the position for this year.
The Cowboys have been impressed with Wilcox's tenacity and playmaking skills. But he played running back the first three years in college and moved to defense his senior year at Georgia Southern.
He just needs more time to develop as a safety _ time he unfortunately and understandably missed this past week.