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As if the Dallas Cowboys were not facing enough problems this season, both Chris Jones and Brian Moorman were unable to practice on Wednesday before the Baltimore Ravens game. Will either be able to punt on Sunday?
What in the world is going on at Valley Ranch? The Dallas Cowboys now face another injury problem, as both of their punters missed practice on Wednesday.
Well, to put it delicately, this certainly sucks. The team does not have a solution at the moment. They could look to sign a third punter off the street, but then you almost have to cut Moorman or Jones - I can't see that they would tie up three roster spots for this position. And the problem also impacts the placekicking, since Jones and Moorman were the holders for Dan Bailey. A new face punting would mean a new holder for Bailey, and that would be the fifth one for him in his two years with the team.
The kicking game (when the blocking holds up) has been one of the few consistent things about the play for the Cowboys in 2012. After Jones was injured, Moorman came in and had an excellent performance against the Chicago Bears. It looked like the team would be fine, as Jones was expected to be back, and Moorman was a reliable alternative if Jones wasn't ready.
But now, the Cowboys are facing that sinking feeling you get out on a dark, lonely road when you open the trunk to change a tire and discover your spare has gone flat. They do have a player with experience punting on the practice squad - but Danny Coale is injured as well, so he is no longer a possibility. Anyone pulled off the street is not going to be an option that will inspire huge confidence at this stage of things, and you certainly don't want to start asking for volunteers from the roster who punted in high school or something. Bailey has punted in an emergency, but that still leaves them figuring out who will hold for him. At least Tony Romo has experience there.
Injuries are striking players all over the NFL, but Dallas seems to have a very strange run of them at the moment. In addition to seeming to have more hamstrings hurt than there are actually legs on the team to get strained, this punter problem is just not the normal thing you see, at least as I can remember. The Cowboys may have to just see who is feeling the best on Sunday and go with him.
And if you feel a little scared by that, you are not alone.