Cowboys Injuries Week 1: Anthony Spencer Doubtful, Ben Bass To Go On IR, DT Jerome Long To Be Signed

USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are expected to lose a defensive tackle to IR, but already have plans for his replacement.

After the MRI results on Ben Bass' dislocated shoulder turned out to be worse than the Dallas Cowboys had anticipated, the team will place Bass on injured reserve, ending his season since they have still not used the returnable injured reserve designation on anyone. To take Bass' place the team will sign Jerome Long, who was with the Cowboys in training camp but failed to make the 53-man roster. Long did not make the practice squad, either, but the Cowboys elected to give him the call rather that PS member Jason Vega or Jeris Pendleton, another defensive tackle who made it to the final cut.

With Long's knowledge of the scheme, ability to play end and tackle and non-guaranteed salary, he was the best fit.

"He understands the scheme better than anybody," defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said. "He's one of those guys who got caught up in a numbers game. I thought he did a good job at the three-technique and he can play end. He can spare me a lot and you've got [Landon] Cohen. He can play the three-technique and nose. We're not worried about the game at all."

The decision to go ahead and put Bass on IR is a bit of a contrast to some of the other "day-to-day" situations that seemed to drag on forever, and may reflect the fact that the first game is just two days away.

Long is an example of the fact that getting cut on the last day is not always the end in the NFL. Actually, most of the players in the last group of cutdowns will at least get another chance somewhere in the league. He had to go home and wait, but that phone call came, and now he gets to suit up as part of the Dallas Cowboys. And he does have the advantages that Hatcher spoke of in knowing the scheme, so he is not really comparable to the "Couch Cowboys" that were being added to the depleted roster last year. That may yet come, since most NFL teams have to go searching on the street at some point in the season, but for now the Cowboys are still dealing with players that better fit the description of "guys we want" rather than "all that we can find".

In other injury news, Anthony Spencer did not practice again today and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game. Almost certainly he won't play. Danny McCray and Lance Dunbar are also out. The good news - it looks like Ronald Leary is ready to go.

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