For the past two years, any news involving the health of the Dallas Cowboys was bad. In 2012, there were injuries right up the middle of the defense that created massive problems. In 2013, the cluster was focused in the defensive line. Hamstring problems seemed to be a weekly occurrence and led to the eventual departure of Miles Austin. Injuries have reduced Matt Johnson to the status of a dimly-remembered myth.
It would be very welcome to see some good news for a change. So I had to fight to keep from getting overly excited when I saw this on Twitter.
Per @SullyBaldHead: "Am hearing more and more that Anthony Spencer is healthier and progressing quicker than anyone imagined."— One Cool Customer (@OCC44) July 17, 2014
The line comes from the latest column by Jeff Sullivan at DallasCowboys.com, or as we term it, the mothership. It is just one little line as he goes through three things to watch in training camp, and he brings it up while talking about who the leaders are going to be on defense. But just that thought makes one drift into flights of Kool Aid fueled fantasy.
Imagine for a moment that the Cowboys could manage to go into the season with a healthy Anthony Spencer and a healthy Henry Melton. That would go a very long way toward compensating for the loss of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher from last year's squad. Suddenly, talk about the defense getting better does not look so irrational.
OK. This is just one comment from one writer, so obviously we are getting into some fairly extreme speculation here. However . . .
As I said, this is from the mothership. Now, one thing that is unique to those guys is that they actually work inside the headquarters at Valley Ranch. They are employees of the team. And they have very regular contact with the staff. Several times in the past, writers with DallasCowboys.com (particularly Bryan Broaddus) have made some statements that make it pretty clear they have some inside information from someone.
Could this be some kind of trial balloon? Or maybe some optimism from inside the team that Spencer may be ready way sooner than anyone expected?
Obviously, I certainly hope so. While optimistic statements about the health of Cowboys players deserve a bit of skepticism, based on the recent past, it is about time things broke to the good for Dallas. Just the law of averages would say they are due some good news.
But the thing that really makes me curious about all this is that I think Sullivan was consistent last season in stating that Spencer's knee issues were worse than the team was letting on. I have been trying to make sure, but for now I am having to rely on memory. And if that is correct, I find myself wondering why the man who was so certain Spencer would not make a significant contribution in 2013 is now floating the idea that he could be back in 2014, and earlier than most predict? It is another one of those things that makes me go "Hmm."
This is certainly not much to go on. But you can add one more thing to the long list of what to watch in training camp.