It's too late to save their season but the Cowboys have been given a much-needed shot in the arm with Matt Scott and Jordan McLean confirmed by coach Paul Green to make their long-awaited comebacks.
It's a huge boost for the Cowboys who will be eager to regain some confidence in the closing rounds of a disappointing season, starting with Friday night's encounter with the Knights in Townsville.
"They both got through the week's training good so they'll be playing," Green said, "It's huge, the experience and size also, so it's good to have them back."
Scott has been battling a persistent neck injury through the middle of the season, having not played since round 14.
McLean injured his foot in round four, missing out on the majority of his first season with the Cowboys, a factor that Green said frustrated the young international prop.
"It's been frustrating for [Jordan], at a new club he's been pretty keen to make a difference but the injury is a setback out of his control but credit to him he's worked hard to get himself back on the field," Green said.
"Given the way the season has panned out there was plenty of excuses to put the cue in the rack but he was very determined to get back on the paddock and keen to play which was a very good sign."
Green is going to be cautious with how he uses his extra firepower.
"I'm just going to work out which way I'll go, I'll probably start one of them and start the other one off the bench," he said.
Cowboys v Knights - Round 20
"They're international players, you can't understate when you don't have your best players playing, it makes it really difficult it puts a lot of pressure on other guys.
"It gives [the team] confidence, but also it's a credit to [Scott and McLean] to show how hard they've worked to get back on the paddock and that's the culture you want to set and those boys set the example by doing that."
While Scott's injury didn't have a set timeline, there were initial fears McLean could miss the rest of the 2018 season, but the former Storm forward's recovery was on the quicker side thanks to a multitude of factors aligning for the Cowboys.
"Those injuries there's a broad range of diagnoses depending on how the operation goes, how they recover and all that sort of stuff but it's certainly on the quicker side so it's a credit to him and our medical staff," Green said.