If I'm repeating material, forgive me. I haven't been able to read the site much lately.
We as fans are getting used to hearing about another player or 3 being injured each week. But, I took a look this morning at who is out, and I honestly think injuries are what have stopped us from being a playoff team. Not that there aren't mistakes (Dez's drops, pre-snap penalties), but when you really look at the state of the lineup compared to opening day....man.
First and foremost to this discussion is the O line, as we all know. Can anyone even remember the starting front 5 from opening day? Things were not good then, but are much worse now. We've lost our starting center, who was not an all-star. We lost our back up center. Now we've had to move a guard over, which means we've lost a guard. Tyron Smith, for all his troubles, is still our best lineman...but he's gone too. So, at the very least you have to say 3/5 of the starting line is out (or not playing their position). That doesn't include the smaller week to week injuries and ailments. We would have had a tough time competing this year with the line we started with, but losing 60% of them?
And how about those skill Positions?
Can any team withstand that? On Offense, the only reliables have been Dez, Romo, and post-spleen Witten. Nobody else can be counted on. So, 8 of 11 positions have regularly been in flux. Well, only 7 I guess, since Doug Free has started consistently....but is that good news?
Then, there's the Defense. Which Might be even worse. Barry Church looked to be gearing up for a big year. Scandrick wasn't playing terribly. Sean Lee and Bruce Carter were looking like the best linebacker duo in the league. Most every defensive lineman has had flashed of brilliance, but Ratliff is hurt more often than not, and Lissemore and Coleman are gone.
So, the defense is playing third stringers at one CB spot, safety, a couple on the line at any given time, and both linebackers are out. And again, this doesn't include the smaller things like concussions, etc.
So, this was a lot of rambling to get at the point, which is this:
On offense, we have at least 6 starters missing extended time.
On defense, we have at least 5.
So, out of the 22 starting offensive and defensive positions, a full half are not the guys we planned on having in there. Are there other teams in the league with that problem? Can we really expect a playoff birth in this situation? How good could we be if 90% of our starters actually had practice time together, and played multiple games together?
I really don't think this team is full of holes and needs to be blown up and needs a coaching change. This team needs an o-line, and needs, overall, to get stronger and prevent injuries.
This year is lost, but I feel like, if injuries heal well, and we spend "Jerry Style" on an o-line, we can easily compete next year.