After the 4-12 disaster of the 2015 season, fans of the Dallas Cowboys know just what injury can do to a football team. Of course, losing your starting quarterback without an adequate replacement is a special circumstance of injury, but still, injuries are the one thing that can ruin a team that is very hard for an organization to control. The best you can do is have adequate depth. This year, when Tony Romo went down with injury, the Cowboys were ready, even though no one really knew it at the time.
Additionally, the Cowboys overall health for this season, especially heading into the playoffs, is seen as one of their advantages. With injuries along the way to Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne, just to name some, that might seem like a crazy statement. But heading into the playoffs, the Cowboys are probably the healthiest team still left.
Sure, the Cowboys have had starters miss time with injuries. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick and Barry Church have missed at least two games each. But Collins is the only one who hasn't healed up. Everyone else is expected to play in Sunday's divisional-round game.
The argument can be made that the Cowboys are the healthiest they've been all season.
"I don't think there's any question," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said recently on "The Fan" KRLD-FM (105.3). "We were actually talking about that, to think pretty much when you look at this football team that we may have access to almost everybody.
"You have to have some of that good fortune in terms of injuries."
The Cowboys do have players that might have had an impact on their playoff run unavailable, like Collins and Geoff Swaim, or Charles Tapper and James Hanna. But besides Collins, who has been more than ably replaced by Ron Leary, those guys weren’t starters. And they sure weren’t stars. Consider some of the players other playoff teams are missing.
The Packers are without Eddie Lacy, Sam Shields and likely Jordy Nelson. The Seahawks lost Earl Thomas and Tyler Lockett. The Falcons are missing Desmond Trufant and Sean Weatherspoon. Over in the other conference players like Rob Gronkowski, J.J. Watt and Jamaal Charles are all out. That is a lot of star power sitting on the sideline.
The Cowboys won’t waltz through the playoffs just because they are healthier, but its a definite advantage. One they would do well not to blow because it isn’t every year that your team can stay this healthy. Just ask Sean Lee.