Football is a violent sport, and injuries are part of the game. Today, the Cowboys got more than their fair share of injuries.
The injuries have been accumulating over the last couple of days. Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas noted earlier in the day that 15 players from the Cowboys' 90-man roster were not going to participate in today's practice for various reasons. That number may have been reduced by one when rookie Tyrone Crawford showed up and played unexpectedly, but there's no denying that injuries have started taking their toll on the Cowboys.
Here's the tally from today's practice:
- Miles Austin broke off training late in the afternoon with apparent hamstring trouble. It's not assumed to be too serious (Stephen Jones said "we're not concerned"), but with Austin and hamstrings, you never know.
- John Phillips injured his ankle midway through practice. He sat out for a bit but came back with a taped-up ankle, only to leave for the locker room later. No news yet on his status, but that potentially leaves the Cowboys with just three healthy tight ends.
- Marcus Spears was tested for a possible concussion. With Ratliff already out and Hatcher sidelined with a groin injury, the Cowboys appear suddenly thin along the defensive line.
- Running back Lance Dunbar left practice with an apparent hamstring injury. With Phillip Tanner undergoing surgery for a broken bone in Dallas, that leaves the Cowboys with just three healthy running backs.
- Dez Bryant caused repeated scares when he went to the trainers on the sidelines to have his calves and arm checked out, but he at least seems to not have suffered any lingering effects.
Most of these injuries don't appear to be too serious, but the roster is being depleted nevertheless. After practice, Jason Garrett and Stephen Jones had a meeting scheduled with the medical staff to assess the situation. No word yet on the results of that meeting, but the Cowboys are sure to critically look at the pace of camp and to see if there is any correlation there to those injuries. It's one thing to work players had, it's another thing entirely if the players are being overworked.
Either way, the Cowboys may need to add bodies soon if they want to maintain the pace of training camp, or they may have to slow down the pace of camp.
According to Jason Garrett, the Cowboys are already considering bringing in extra players at wide receiver and center. They might as well bring in extra bodies at RB and TE as well.