Ron Leary is getting his knee scoped. That is not a good thing.
But before we launch ourselves off the top of the Jerrytron, can we consider a few things?
1 - This is a relatively minor (no surgery is ever truly routine) procedure. The (somewhat broad) recovery time is given as 2-6 weeks. That means, at worst, we are looking at 3 games without our starting Left Guard. Compare that for a moment to the Raiders and Packers, who are both looking at the entire season without their starting Left TACKLE and who are thin enough to be entrusting their QB's blindside to Alex Barron and 4th rd Rookie David Bakthiari, respectively. Incidentally, both teams will be playing in
Cowboys ATT Stadium this year. Can you hear that dripping sound? That's Demarcus Ware's saliva (though actually I think it heralds big days for Anthony Spencer, as those teams will have to roll HUGE amounts of help to Ware's side, leaving Spencer man up on a Right Tackle instead of in man coverage).
2 - Neither of the guys starting at Guard for the moment has played all that bad. While Arkin and Bernadeau both showed flaws in their game, they were also both a part of some of the best run and pass blocking we've seen in these parts since 2007. Romo and Orton had supremely clean pockets and good to great running games. The only issues with the offensive line have been the back up Tackles, who were put in a little over their heads by injuries. I bet that Parnell and Bell clean this up significantly. It was such a difference that Romo himself essentially said he was distracted by the extra time he had:
I don’t want to get away from here without talking about the offensive line," Romo said. "There were a couple of times I had all day and we had a sack, an incompletion on those two plays, so that’s going to help us a lot if we’re able to do that.
"That’s different. I know what it’s like to play behind that, and having that ability like they did tonight would be a huge bonus for us."
3 - The Beard has to be a huge chunk of this effect. When people overreacted to the Frederick reach, the Defenders of the Beard dutifully laid out what we were getting with Frederick: excellent blitz and stunt recognition, enough anchor and push to elevate the play of less powerful guards, and good shotgun snaps. We have seen all of those in the preseason games so far. Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell should represent a significant test for these guys and I, for one, am anxious to see how Arkin and Bernadeau hold up with the surprisingly consistent and stable Frederick as the foundation of our line.
So while injury news is never good, let's pause for a moment and consider that we are definitely not looking at disaster, here. Let's see how these young men acquit themselves.
Next man up. Next, man-up.