We don't root for injuries here at BTB, but they matter. Football hurts and injuries can doom a team's season. RIght now, the Cowboys find themselves in a fortunate position relative to their divisional cousins.
At the end of free agency, many pundits awarded the Giants the Snyder Trophy, for the best free agency period. New York added Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard to a rotation that already included Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield and Jay Aford. The Giants seemed to have a rotation to rival the '92 Cowboys, who could wear you out rotating Tony Casillas, Russell Maryland, Jimmy Jones, Leon Lett and Chad Hennings.
New York's plans have gone off track just two weeks into the pre-season. Robbins and Cofield both had off-season surgery. (Rumors surfaced that both had microfracture procedures but the team has been tight-lipped. Bernard missed time with a hamstring pull and just returned to practice last week.
Last week, Canty went down with a torn hamstring that could keep him out several weeks. And in Saturday's 17-3 loss at Chicago, Alford, the one healthy incumbent, suffered two torn ligaments that could scuttle his season before it begins.
-- In Philadelpha they're waiting for their offensive linemen to return to practice. Only one of the projected five starters played in the Eagles most recent game, though none of the injuries are considered season-threatening. Philly has a very good o-line coach in Juan Castillo, but the line, considered the team's strength after Jason Peters and Stacey Andrews were obtained, looks iffy at the moment.
You'll see no gloating here. Last year's Cowboys looked just like this year's team coming out of camp. Then, in a two week span, Dallas lost Kyle Kosier, Terence Newman and its number 2,3 and 4 receivers. The Cowboys are healthy now, but one bad week could see them swap places in the injury standings with one of these two.
-- Speaking of injuries, Terrell Owens has not practiced since August 9th because of an injured big toe. Since his release, we have heard pundits wonder, "how will Dallas replace his production?" RIght now, they would be asking the same thing if he were still on the team.
--The one that got away: On draft day, the Cowboys thought they had scored a bargain when Oregon center Max Unger slipped down the draft board. They were ready to pick him in spot 51, but the Seattle Seahawks cut a deal with Chicago and swiped him with the 50th pick.
I watched Unger play the late quarters for the Seahawks over the weekend. He played the second quarter at right guard. He played the third at left guard and some of the last quarter at center. I could not get a good read on Unger's run blocking, because the 'Hawks passed most of the time, but Unger pass protected very well. He has good feet and can get out in space to lead screens.
I like the Cowboys offense, but would feel better about the line if a guy like Unger were the primary interior line backup.