If you find yourself with some more gray hairs this week, the Dallas Cowboys are likely the cause (this is possible every week, honestly).
Last week saw injury scares to perennial All-Pro offensive linemen Travis Frederick and Zack Martin. Thankfully all appears to be well and in line for Week 1’s game in Carolina.
Xavier Woods wasn’t as lucky as the big men up front as his status for the opener is in doubt. As fans we tend to overreact to injuries (who doesn’t?) and lean all the way over to the safety side of the spectrum in situations like we find ourselves, situations like the preseason.
The Cowboys host the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday in the all-important dress rehearsal game. This is when NFL teams traditionally play their starters the most in an effort to get them properly ready for the upcoming season. Going into it off of some scary injuries has us feeling like we should buck the normal trend, though.
Many have suggested that since Zack Martin and Travis Frederick aren’t projected to play in this preseason game that we don’t need to see Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott (who still hasn’t played in the preseason) either. If your elite protectors are gone, why trot out what they are charged with protecting? Jerry Jones seems to agree with this logic.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made it clear over the last few days: He doesn't want Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott playing in any more preseason games this year— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 21, 2018
#Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told @1053thefan he'll leave whether or not #Dak plays in Arizona up to Jason Garrett. pic.twitter.com/UYIt92lWkF— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) August 21, 2018
Assuming you agree with not wanting Dak or Zeke out there against Arizona, a fair assumption these days, the immediate question is obvious - why start any other starters then?
If you’re truly committed to an ultra safe and conservative mindset for the penultimate preseason game (we’re generally fans of this) then why start Tyron Smith? Or Sean Lee? Or anybody else who’s potential injury would significantly dampen what you want to do in 2018?
Jerry Jones ultimately said that this is in the hands of Jason Garrett, and it should be. It’ll be interesting to see if the head coach’s mindset has been compromised by the recent injury scares or if he’ll tune them out and conduct business as normal.