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Cowboys Injury Updates: How They Might Affect The Roster Battles

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys injury list is always in flux during the preseason. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with who is in, who is out, how long they'll be out, and whether they are really still injured or if the team is just play it safe. So let's take a look at the current state of things with a hat tip to the Dallas Morning News for the current statuses. We'll examine by position group and see what effect it's having on the possible 53-man roster.

Defensive Line

DE / Kenneth Boatright / Neck / Out indefinitely / Aug. 5
DT / Tyrone Crawford / Tight back / Day-to-day / Aug. 15
DT / Nick Hayden / Ribs / Day-to-day / Aug. 8
DT / Terrell McClain / Knee, Hamstring / Week-to-week / Aug. 5

Boatright was definitely one of the bubble/long-shot guys who would need a very good camp to make the final roster. The influx of talent at defensive end has created a situation where he's unlikely to make it with this injury.

The injuries at defensive tackle and the willingness of the Cowboys to sit established veterans has led to a lot of playing time for Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop. In an excellent article, Bob Sturm notes about those two:

With Hayden and Terrell McClain both on the sideline, this might not be really relevant in a month, but the 1-tech all night was occupied by the same 2 players who were given so much time in the 2014 preseason, Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop. Bishop, a 2014 7th-round pick from Northern Illinois, is about 6'0, 300, and plays the 1-technique with a great deal of motor and is always on the screen at the whistle. Coleman, 6'2, 295, was undrafted out of Arizona State and may have a bit more natural ability as well as the capability of playing both tackle spots (1-tech and 3-tech). These two players have been tied at the hip since last year when they joined the team together, and remain so in camp 2015. Coleman made the team last year in camp, was waived in November, signed to the practice squad, and kept around. Bishop suffered the same fate, but was actually waived in October to be put on the practice squad. Coleman played 53 snaps last year, Bishop 89. It would seem they are both competing for the same spot and might be one of those last decisions that are made.

Secondary

CB / Brandon Carr / Hand / Out indefinitely / Aug. 6
CB / Byron Jones / Left shoulder / Out one week / Aug. 15
CB / Orlando Scandrick / Knee / Day-to-day / Aug. 6

At cornerback, guys like Corey White and Tyler Patmon are going to get a lot of reps. White had a great first preseason game as he tries to solidify a spot on the roster. Patmon has reportedly been doing good work in camp. It will end up coming down to a numbers game between the corners and the safeties. With White and Jones having position flexibility, it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys mix and match. Special teams is also a consideration with safeties like Jeff Heath and Danny McCray.

Wide Reciever

WR / Dez Bryant / Left hamstring / Out one week / Aug. 5
WR / Antwan Goodley / Hamstring / Day-to-day / Aug. 6
WR / Deontay Greenberry / Illness / Day-to-day / Aug. 15

Assuming Lucky Whitehead does not continue to fumble in preseason games, it's unlikely there is much of a battle going on here. Devin Street had a great preseason game helping him solidify the number four spot on the depth chart. Guys like Goodley and Greenberry can't afford to miss time, but the way things are shaping up it might not even matter. There's just not a lot of room to maneuver at this position.

Offensive Line

LT / Tyron Smith / Right biceps / Out one week / Aug. 10
OT / Chaz Green / Hip / Active/PUP / N/A

It's really too bad for Chaz Green that he isn't able to participate in camp so far. The Cowboys backup offensive tackles were exposed in the first preseason game so swing tackle would have been up in the air for him to grab. As it is, Darrion Weems will likely be given the chance to improve on his first performance and the rest of the group looks pretty solid. La'el Collins and Mackenzy Bernadeau will likely be the other main backups unless Collins moves up and Ronald Leary moves back into a depth role. Good to have Doug Free back participating in practice.

Linebackers

LB / Anthony Hitchens / Foot / Day-to-day / Aug. 15
LB / Rolando McClain / Knee / Active/PUP / N/A
LB / Mark Nzeocha / Knee / Active/NFI / N/A

The big question here is the recovery of Rolando McClain. Is he going to be ready to go, will he be put on the PUP list to start the year since he is already going to miss four games to suspension? Todd Archer discusses all of that here.

Running Back

RB / Gus Johnson / Shoulder / Day-to-day / Aug. 11
RB / Lance Dunbar / Ankle / Day-to-day / Aug. 4
RB / Darren McFadden / Hamstring / Day-to-day / N/A

Ah, the running backs. The Cowboys want Randle, Dunbar and McFadden to be their three for the 53-man roster. The big questions is how will McFadden look when he really starts going, and can he remain injury-free? Waiting in the wings is Gus Johnson, but his injury will now slow down his progress. As long as McFadden proves he's ready to go, the top three will remain the top three.

Tight End

TE / James Hanna / Knee / Day-to-day / Aug. 11

How long will Hanna be out, and will Geoff Swaim be able to take advantage?

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