One factor in the Cowboys 4-2 start has been the team's good health. That edge frayed two weeks ago when ILB Dat Nguyen injured his neck. It was shattered Monday with the news that LT Flozell Adams is lost for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Adam's loss threatens to throw a struggling offensive line into disarray. The Cowboys, prior to the Giants game, had been solid in pass protection, but had struggled to establish a consistent running attack. The line's biggest internal project had been implementing rookie RT Rob Petitti. Petitti had been okay in the running game, but was being given consistent help by running backs and tight ends on passing downs.
That strategy will need to be amended because the most likely option at left tackle is third year reserve Torrin Tucker. Tucker's play was erratic on Sunday. He was effective on certain plays but had two key miscues when Dallas was inside the New York ten late in the game. His breakdowns forced two incompletions and forced Dallas to settle for a field goal when a touchdown would have put the game out of reach.
Tucker's experience at LT offers a glimmer of hope. When Petitti was moved to right tackle after Jacob Rogers injury, Tucker was moved to the left side, where he beat out Kurt Vollers. Tucker got extensive playing time at LT the last three weeks of camp, so nothing about the position should be unfamiliar.
Perhaps the best scenario is that Petitti continues to improve his play, enough so that he can be trusted one-on-one, and the help he gets can slide to Tucker's side.
The bye cannot come fast enough.