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Injuries causing uncertainty for the Dallas Cowboys

A couple things to preface this post. I haven’t really watched the Dallas Cowboys game against the Vikings last night in detail; I did try to keep up watching online on a tiny screen but not enough to really comment on how guys played. I do have it on Tivo though and will be going through it this afternoon specifically watching the bubble players and will post on that later. Last night, a lot of my attention was focused on this. The other thing I’d like to say is thanks to Brandon for posting the open threads and a game recap last night while I indulged my other football passion.

OK, on to the game. One play I did see last night that I wish I’d never seen was the injury to Sam Hurd. Are you kidding? Another receiver down for the Cowboys. We need to wait on the MRI results before speculating but even that might not tell the whole story, it could take a while to really know.

Hurd, who will have an MRI exam on Friday, seemed confident he could return in time for the Sept. 7 season opener in Cleveland with proper rest and treatment. But team doctors project that he'll be doubtful for the game due to the lingering nature of a high ankle sprain, which involves the ligaments connecting the tibia and fibia on the lower leg. Generally that type of injury requires a week of evaluation before an accurate timetable can be set.

 

Now, I’ve taken some flak for suggesting we can’t roll into the season with just T.O., Crayton and Hurd because we’d be one injury away from playing some totally untested guys in a real role on offense. I’ve suggested that a veteran will be signed at some point but with the top three healthy, we might wait until we get past the first game so we wouldn’t guarantee the salary for the year. But now with Hurd down, and everyone expecting he won’t be available next Sunday  - except for Hurd himself – I feel even stronger about this. Jerry Jones expresses the opposite view, but I have to wonder if he’s playing poker.

"We want people on the field with [Tony] Romo that Romo's been throwing to," Jones said. "We won't have anybody out there that has not been on the team trying to move the ball against Cleveland."

If you take that statement as the truth, then it looks like Mike Jefferson and/or Danny Amendola are going to get a baptism by fire next week as they participate in a real NFL game, a game that counts in the standings and kicks off the Cowboys run at a Super Bowl. I’m sorry, but I’m just not comfortable with that. It’s been suggested that we have enough weapons on offense to get away with it and that some of the other guys like Felix Jones or maybe Martellus Bennett can be used in ways to minimize the impact. That may be what Jason Garrett has in mind but even those guys are untested and are rookies who need time to grow into their roles – that includes El Gato. I realize we still have Jason Witten, so we still have three WR-quality guys we can play. But it’s a real gamble to me, injuries in that game would really hamstring us and rookie mistakes could cost us. WR is one of the easier roles to integrate quickly, especially if the receiver has any familarity with the coordinator's offense and terminology.

I won't beat this subject to death, because without knowing if any decent WR gets cut from another team, it’s hard to debate the specifics of the issue. But there is one WR out there who is available.

When asked if he planned to contact [Terry] Glenn, Jones was non-committal.

"I'm going to keep that to myself, one way or the other," Jones said.

Interesting.

One thing I will be watching closely when I review the game is the play of our offensive line, especially the guys in the left guard competition. I feel just like Wade:

"It's hard to evaluate the inside blockers until we look at the tape," Phillips said. "Once we get the tape, I think we'll have a better feel how each of those guys played."

With the trade for Montrae Holland, we have 11 linemen for 10 spots on the roster; somebody is going when we make the last roster cut. It’s not going to be one of the starting five and it won’t be Doug Free or Montrae Holland. That leaves Pat McQuistan, Joe Berger, Cory Procter and James Marten. I won’t hazard a final guess until I watch the tape, but my early money is on Marten.

Could we be adding another player to the roster? It will be tough to do with all the injury problems but It could help us on our special teams.

When asked if the Cowboys would be interested in making an effort to re-sign [Keith] Davis, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, "We haven't - we'll get into that tomorrow and see. It has everything to do with the kind of pressure we have on our 53-man roster."