Injuries Could Add To Cowboys Woes

Gregory Shamus

Lost among all the hoopla over the way the Cowboys loss were the injuries that helped seal the defeat.

The Dallas Cowboys took a punch to the gut when they lost to the Detroit Lions in dramatic fashion, but they also picked up some injuries in the game to key personnel. Brian Waters, Morris Claiborne and Barry Church all ended up on the sideline before the game was through.

Of the three, Brian Waters' injury is probably the most concerning because it's not just one injury. Waters initially hurt his knee and had to come out temporarily, once back in he hurt his triceps and his ribs. He will undergo an MRI today but owner Jerry Jones said they are most concerned with his triceps and ribs. Waters played 32 snaps (56% of offensive snaps) while Mackenzy Bernadeau played 25 (44%). Waters has helped to solidify the Cowboys offensive line, if he misses any significant time and they Cowboys have to make do with Bernadeau, then their problems on offense will start to magnify.

Both Morris Claiborne and Barry Church injured their hamstrings. Neither player seems concerned that it will keep them out next week, but hamstrings are notoriously fickle so you can't count on anything right now. Claiborne missed a significant portion of the game, playing only 33 snaps (41% of defensive snaps). B.W. Webb was pressed into service in Claiborne's absence playing 39 snaps (49%). Most of the second half of the game was played by Webb covering the slot as Orlando Scandrick played outside (including on the ill-fated pass to Kris Durham that was huge in that last-minute drive). Also contributing to that Durham catch was Jakar Hamilton; he was pressed into service when Barry Church left with a hamstring injury after playing 64 snaps (80%). Hamilton finished the game playing 13 snaps (16%).

Hopefully Church and Claiborne can return soon. The Cowboys secondary at the end was playing with only two real starters - Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick. That's tough sledding against a team like Detroit who has Calvin Johnson. But, over the long run, the Cowboys will need the return of Brian Waters. The offense needs to cover for the defense for the Cowboys to make a move this season and they need Waters.

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