The Cowboys have been very deliberate this year about managing their players' health. Veterans are getting regular off days, there's no tackling in camp, and even the traditional blue/white scrimmage turned out to be a blue/white practice.
Against that backdrop, it's worth looking back at previous years to understand how this year's team is faring in terms of injuries.
The league doesn't require teams to release injury reports during training camp, so we can't compare the Cowboys numbers to those of other teams. But if we look at how many injured players the Cowboys had after the Blue/White scrimmage in each of the past years, we'll get a pretty good idea of how the injury rates compare.
What we know is that the Cowboys had 15 players on their injury report at this stage of camp last year, 16 players in 2015, 18 players in 2014, and 14 players on their injury report at this stage of camp in 2013.
This year, the number on the injury report is down to six, excluding Tyron Smith and L.P. Ladouceur, who took a rest day on Tuesday. Keep in mind though, the injury report numbers cover a different number of practices in each year:
2013: Seven practices (Incl. Blue/White scrimmage)
2014: Eleven practices (Incl. Blue/White scrimmage and the two practices after that)
2015: Ten practices (Incl. Blue/White scrimmage and one practice after that)
2016: Eight practices (Incl. Blue/White scrimmage)
2017: Eight practices (Incl. Blue/White practice)
That means that the Cowboys injury number this year is less than half that of the past few years. And a closer look the injury reports from all five years shows that the difference in the number of injured players is not just about the quantity of injuries, but also about the injury status of each player:
|Day-to-day||J. Hanna||M. Claiborne||D. Bryant||T. Crawford||M. Collins||Hip|
|C. Beasley||S. Moore||L. Dunbar||E. Elliott||R. Switzer||Hamstring|
|D. Bryant||T. Patmon||O. Scandrick||T. McClain||C. Green||Shoulder|
|D. Coale||J. Hamilton||N. Hayden||D. Street||D. Irving||Ankle|
|M. Bernadeau||M. Johnson||D. Free||C. Thornton||J. Lewis||Hamstring|
|R. Leary||B. Bass||D. Lawrence||K. Wilber|
|L.P. Ladouceur||G. Selvie||J. Randle|
|R. Cook||B. Gardner||A. Goodley|
|I. Igbinosun||R. McClain||J. Wetzel|
|Out 1-2 weeks||J. Parnell||T. McClain||T. McClain|
|J. Ratliff||D. Weems|
|Out indefinitely||A. Spencer||D. Lawrence||K. Boatright||M. Collins*||J. Durant*||Elbow|
|T. Crawford**||S. Lee**||B. Carr||L. Dunbar*|
|C. Whaley**||C. Whaley**||J. Hanna*|
|A. Spencer*||C. Green*||B. Mayowa*|
|A. Okoye||R. McClain*||D. McFadden*|
|D. McFadden*||J. Smith*|
|M. Nzeocha*||D. Wilson*|
|* PUP/NFI, **Out for Season|
The thing that immediately stands out about the 2017 injury list is that it has just five players listed as day-to-day and just one (Justin Durant) listed as out indefinitely this year.
That's a five-year low in "minor" injuries, and a complete absence of any longer-term issues, as Durant will likely rejoin the team once he's caught up on his conditioning.
So that is good news, as practices so far have resulted in fewer minor injuries than in previous years and the Cowboys are healthier than they've been at this point in any of the last five years.
Football is a violent sport in which injuries happen, and there are still a lot of camp practices scheduled and a lot of preseason minutes to be played. So far, the numbers suggest the Cowboys have been quite successful in managing their injuries, let's hope it stays that way.