The Dallas Cowboys have several health issues they are dealing with this offseason. DeMarco Murray is coming back from a broken leg; top draft choice Morris Claiborne had surgery to correct an issue with his wrist; and UDFA Ronald Leary has a questionable knee. Now two more problems have surfaced. Third round pick Tyrone Crawford was diagnosed with a heart murmur during his combine physical and fourth-rounder Kyle Wilber broke a finger during the second day of the rookie minicamp.
While these are not things that would be termed good news, they certainly are not cause for panic or dismay. The injuries all look to be resolved by the start of training camp, and the players should all be able to participate to some degree in most of the OTA and minicamp activities before then, with some limitations.
While there is never a good time for an injury, the earlier something happens, the more time there is for the player concerned to recover. Claiborne played with his injury, choosing to get it fixed when it would not have a major effect on his preparation for the season. And I don't doubt that Wilber would have played with his broken finger if it had happened during the regular season (remember Sean Lee and the Killer Q-Tip?). Now, the team can afford to get these issues taken care of and still get the players ready for the season.
Details on the various issues after the jump.
The announcement of the heart murmur was rather low key.
On Wednesday, Crawford's agent, Dr. D.S. Ping, confirmed what doctors discovered but said it wasn't a major issue and didn't believe NFL teams took his client off their draft boards.
"Never affected anything," Ping said. "No doubt."
Said team owner/general manger Jerry Jones: "The heart murmur issue is one that I'm satisfied is OK for us."
I have often heard that a heart murmur is not a serious issue, but I also make no claims to be a doctor. A quick search of the interwebs led me to an article from the Mayo Clinic, which does, I believe, have one or more doctors working for it.
Heart murmurs are abnormal sounds during your heartbeat cycle - such as whooshing or swishing - made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. These sounds can be heard with a stethoscope. A normal heartbeat makes two sounds like "lubb-dupp" (sometimes described as "lub-DUP"), which are the sounds of your heart valves closing.
Heart murmurs can be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. A heart murmur isn't a disease - but murmurs may indicate an underlying heart problem.
Most heart murmurs are harmless (innocent) and don't need treatment. Some heart murmurs may require follow-up tests to be sure the murmur isn't caused by a serious underlying heart condition. Treatment, if needed, is directed at the cause of your heart murmurs.
I guess it just means that while Crawford still has a high motor, it sounds funny. This seems, at first glance, to be even less of an issue than Ronald Leary's knee, which he insists is not a problem at all. At least heart murmur is a lot easier to spell than Leary's condition, osteochondritis dissecans. (At this point, I would like to take a moment to offer my most sincere gratitude and praise to the inventor of the cut-and-paste function on computers.)
Wilber's injury was also kept rather low-key, since it happened on Saturday, and nobody seemed to be aware of it. The team is making sure that they get the rookie ready in plenty of time.
On a day when first-round pick Morris Claiborne had the pins removed from his surgically repaired left wrist, Cowboys owner and general manager announced fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber had surgery to repair a fractured right index finger.
UPDATE: Both players will be out until training camp in July, which had been the plan all along for Claiborne. The rookies are scheduled to report to Oxnard, Calif., on July 25, followed a few days later by the veterans.
The phrase "out until training camp" makes it sound like they will not be doing anything, but Pick 6 was participating in walk-throughs and getting what he called "mental reps" during the rookie minicamp. I expect that Wilber will be involved in as much as he can, including conditioning and training with Mike Woicik, as well as learning as much as he can about Rob Ryan's chaotic defensive scheme.
There is one player, however, who is expected to miss some OTA time.
Fourth-round safety Matt Johnson is the only draft pick expected to miss offseason practice time to finish up school.— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) May 9, 2012
He is expected to be back for the full, mandatory minicamp.
And how can you fault a kid for getting his degree before he goes full time in the NFL?
So if you got perturbed by the headline, you can rest easy. Everything is looking good.