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Cowboys coach Joe DeCamillis has a broken back, plus other updates

[UPDATE]: Good first-hand accounts; Todd Archer here, Nick Eatman here and Mac Engel here.

Hat tip to BVandy for the Eatman link.

[UPDATE]: From the DMN blog, three people besides DeCamillis remain hospitalized:

…assistant athletic trainer Greg Gaither, who suffered a broken leg, college scouting coordinator Chris Hall, whose arm was injured, and scouting assistant Rich Behm, who was in critical condition with unspecified injuries.

Rich Behm, as noted below via Matt Mosley, had surgery for a spinal injury. [End Update]

One of the worst injuries to come out of the roof collapsing at the Dallas Cowboys indoor training facility happened to special teams coach Joe DeCamillis. We knew that he had been taken to the hospital in a neck-brace, now we find out he has actually broken his back. Several of the lower vertebrae were broken and it could have been a lot worse.  

Former coach Dan Reeves, DeCamillis' father-in-law, said the first-year Dallas coach has a couple of broken vertebrae in his lower back.

"They say he's lucky not to be paralyzed," said Reeves, adding that DeCamillis probably will have surgery. The coach was seen being removed on a stretcher wearing a neck brace.

[UPDATE]: From Matt Mosley's blog via the comments section and BTB-regular TARHEEL PAUL we learn a Cowboys scout also has a back injury.

As of 12:08 a.m. ET, a Cowboys scout named Rich Behm is undergoing surgery on his spinal cord at a Dallas hospital, according to a source close to the family. DeCamillis, who is former NFL head coach Dan Reeves' son-in-law, has two broken vertebrae, according to sources


New draft pick David Buehler was the most seriously injured of the players when a pole fell on him as he was trying to escape the collapsing structure.

Buehler, dazed by a blow to his head, wriggled out from under the pole and crawled approximately 15 yards through pools of water before turning around and looking at the wreckage.


He needed three stitches to close a gash on his right knee. He also has a concussion, sore neck, skin ripped off his ear and a cut on his forehead.

Todd Archer gives his own first-hand account of being trapped that was relayed in the previous post. Big kudos to rookies Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Smith for getting Archer to safety. 

Luckily, no one died in this incident and luckily Joe DeCamillis wasn't paralyzed. Also best wishes go out to Joe and the other 11 people who were injured and we hope for a speedy recovery.

In a couple of days, the questions will start to be asked about what happened. Was the structure unsound? Did it buckle under conditions it was meant to handle? Or was it not designed for conditions like Saturday? More immediate to the team, tomorrow's rookie session is obviously canceled but they'll have to find an indoor facility to practice in going forward. I think Jerry would want to be cautious about building a new one until he has everything figured out about what happened on Saturday.

The important thing is it looks like everybody will be OK, to some extent, although DeCamillis is dealing with a pretty serious situation. This could have turned out worse.

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