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Cowboys' Chaz Green Has Hip Surgery

The third-round pick was questioned by many, and those questions just got louder.

The presence of La'el Collins (71) somewhat offsets the injury problems of Chaz Green (79).
The presence of La'el Collins (71) somewhat offsets the injury problems of Chaz Green (79).
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys took Chaz Green in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. He was intended as a replacement for swing tackle Jermey Parnell, who departed in free agency. The selection was not favorably reviewed, as Green dealt with frequent injuries while playing for the Florida Gators. Many believed that the pick would have been better invested elsewhere. Running back was the obvious alternative, but Green's pedigree and somewhat limited play in college just did not make it look like he was a good investment.

Jerry Jones' announcement that Green underwent hip surgery and is expected to be limited to start training camp casts even more doubts on the wisdom of the selection. The best case scenario is that he will be limited in training camp. He could wind up on the physically unable to play (PUP) list, and missing the entire season is not out of the question. The Cowboys have a history of taking players with some injury issues in college, but this time it did not work out well.

He now looks to be the one bad mark on a draft that otherwise has a lot to like. Dallas took a bit of gamble on his injury history, and it may not pay off for them. The team may still get some return on him, since the impact is similar to that of DeMarcus Lawrence who missed most of the season before coming on in the playoffs. However, there is a difference between the random camp injury and taking a player with existing concerns.

Fortunately the Cowboys have some good fallback options. They apparently hedged their bets with the selection of Laurence Gibson in the seventh round. Then La'el Collins fell into their laps as a UDFA, although early indications from OTAs and minicamp is that he is going to be a better guard in the NFL than a tackle. More encouraging is that Darrion Weems has been getting first-team snaps in the OTAs and minicamp while Doug Free is still rehabbing, and the reviews have been positive. The team has hung onto Weems since they picked him up late in the 2012 season with the hopes he would develop into a quality backup. He has been a "close but no cigar" type of player until now. Perhaps his time is coming, and he will be able to take the important swing tackle role.

The Green news is not good, but at the moment it looks like the team will be able to work around it without too much trouble. There was no expectation of Green contending for a starting job the way Collins should (although he has a stiff challenge going after Ronald Leary's spot). It is probably justifiable to say that the front office stumbled a bit with him, but no one can succeed 100% of the time. Given that the team got some very solid players in Collins, Byron Jones and Randy Gregory, the misstep on Green is hardly crippling.

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