Cowboys Pre-Camp Injuries Mount Up: Ratliff, Bernadeau To PUP

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

In an ominous start to training camp, Dallas has suffered their third and fourth surprise injuries before they even take the field for their first practice.

Welp, this didn't take long at all.

We learned yesterday that a starting offensive guard and a hopeful starter would be sidelined for the start of training camp, as Nate Livings (foot) and Ron Leary (calf) would be held out of the practices. Today, we find out that yesterday's conditioning test took casualties as well.

DT Jay Ratliff and OG Mackenzy Bernadeau both suffered hamstring injuries yesterday, and have been placed on the preseason PUP list.

The preseason PUP list, however, is only precautionary. In order to ever be placed on the regular season PUP list (the one that saves a roster space and keeps you out until after Week 6 of the season), you must be placed on the preseason PUP before you practice during training camp. As such, we currently do not have any idea how long either of the two will be out, or the severity of the hamstring injuries.

The issue is that now, Dallas is down to a second string and third string guard possibly starting, as David Arkin and Kevin Kowalski are the next men up for the Cowboys at that position. There is also the possibility that Travis Frederick moves over from center to guard; a move several of us wanted to see anyway in an effort to get the best interior linemen on the field. In that scenario, Phil Costa would be the first-string center.

Also of note, C Ryan Cook was noe of three players who failed the conditioning test. With a $1m+ salary hit and being deep on the depth chart, one could wonder how long he might remain a Dallas Cowboy.

Those other two players have been identified as T Demetress Bell and WR Lavasier Tuinei. Those players have been placed on the NonFootball Injury List, which functions just like the preseason PUP, but is for players that weren't doing football activities.

The injuries have a trickle down effect, as each of the units (first, second and third string) will be effected by the drop off in play at the line positions. Here's a look at how Dallas is responding.

On the other side of the line, Ratliff's injury could be just as troubling. Dallas famously avoided addressing the defensive line during the 2013 amateur draft. Dallas will look to Sean Lissemore, Ben Bass, Rob Callaway and Nick Hayden to slide into Ratliff's position opposite Jason Hatcher until he returns. Tyrone Crawford, last year's third round pick and scheduled backup to Anthony Spencer at strongside defensive end, could also see extended time inside now.

Not the start we were hoping for, but these could all possibly be minor injuries that don't take long to recover from. Dallas does have a little bit of an extended training camp due to playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, August 4th against the Miami Dolphins.

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