You just hate to see these types of injuries to talented players.
Dallas Cowboys: Injury Fallout at TE
Assuming Blake Jarwin did indeed tear his ACL and he is therefore lost for the season, what happens next? Well, Dalton Schultz happens next.
In training camp Dalton Schultz held off the veteran Blake Bell to earn the TE2 spot behind Jarwin. The well-rounded Schultz was preferable to the man known as the Bell-Dozer because Schultz actually flashed some pass-catching ability.
Dalton’s performance was a mixed bag in relief of Jarwin on Sunday Night. He caught the ball and dropped the ball. He won blocks and he lost blocks. He kinda did what you’d expect from a Day 3 draft pick suddenly pushed into starting duty in his third year.
While the falloff from Blake Jarwin to Dalton Schultz is severe, it’s not as dire as some think. Schultz has been unfairly underappreciated in Cowboys Nation and my efforts to sing his praises notwithstanding, he’s still a serious concern to many fans.
Source: Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch likely out 6-8 weeks with broken collarbone - Todd Archer, ABC News
Just when we thought we got our wolf hunter back, we put him back on the shelf.
Vander Esch, who will have the surgery Tuesday, is expected to miss six to eight weeks, according to a source. The collarbone will be repaired with a plate and screws, similar to the surgery former quarterback Tony Romo had on his broken left collarbone in 2015.
Vander Esch suffered the injury in the first quarter and was replaced by Joe Thomas. Romo missed nine weeks (eight games) in 2015 with his collarbone injury and suffered a re-break in his return against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving and was done for the season.
Vander Esch, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2018, missed seven games last season with a neck injury that eventually required a minimally invasive procedure in the offseason to fix. But he said in training camp that he has had no issues with his neck.
With Vander Esch out and Sean Lee missing at least the next two games on injured reserve with a pelvis issue, the Cowboys have four linebackers on the 53-man roster. Luke Gifford, who was inactive against the Rams, has been working back from a hamstring strain. It is possible the Cowboys could call up rookie Francis Bernard from the practice squad.
Another blow to an already weakened offensive line.
The Cowboys left Los Angeles with loss last night, and with a growing injury list.
According to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, backup tackle Cam Erving suffered a sprained MCL, and will miss two to four weeks.
Erving left last night’s game with the knee injury. The Cowboys were scrambling a bit up front anyway, starting undrafted rookie Terence Steele at right tackle in the place of La’el Collins, who is on injured reserve.
The Cowboys also lost tight end Blake Jarwin to a torn ACL, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch for six to eight weeks with a broken collarbone.
Here’s an option on the free agent market that the Cowboys could probably get.
Delanie Walker, Tight End
The Cowboys entered the 2020 regular season with a very strong offense. The two areas that could be questioned are the offensive line depth and tight end. The Cowboys allowed future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten to leave in free agency this offseason, granting the starting position to Blake Jarwin.
Unfortunately, it appears Jarwin may be lost for the season after suffering an apparent ACL injury against the Rams on Sunday night. The depth at the position was suspect prior to the start of the season. And if Jarwin is indeed lost, the Cowboys have a serious problem.
Dalton Schultz, Blake Bell, and undrafted rookie Sean McKeon currently occupy the active roster at tight end. Dallas also has tight end Cole Hikutini on the practice squad which they could call up. But if Sunday night’s performance is any indication of what we can expect from this group, Jerry Jones needs to get on the horn now to try and find some outside help.
The tight end market is bare. Outside of making a trade to address the position, it’s quite possible that Delanie Walker is the Cowboys’ best bet in free agency.
Eight players Cowboys can target to replace Leighton Vander Esch, Blake Jarwin: Clay Matthews leads the list - Patrik Walker, CBSSports
Who can the Cowboys find to replace LVE?
So you want youth and experience? Well, say hello to Darron Lee.
The 25-year-old is a former first-round pick to boot, having parted ways with the New York Jets and then signing with the Kansas City Chiefs during their Super Bowl of 2019. Lee did most of his damage at the NFL level with Gang Green, needless to say (given he was there three seasons), racking up 155 combined tackles with 11 pass break ups, four sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 36 starts. Seeing as the Chiefs were/are loaded at linebacker, he didn’t get much play as a starter last season, and that is reflected in his downturn in production. Lee has proven he’s a capable starter in the pro ranks though, and would add sub-4.5s speed to the Cowboys linebacker corps. A champion at both the collegiate and pro level, the former Ohio State star is simply waiting on a call to get back to the field and prove he deserves a long term deal from someone.
Given the Cowboys need at LB — arguably both now and in 2021 — Lee is an attractive option to solve an existing problem while creating a doorway to fixing one in the future as well.
There was a lot of bad and ugly in this game.
It was all ugly for the most part. The offense looked an awful lot like the one that so many complained about in 2019. There were too many first down runs and there wasn’t enough of the Cowboys taking their shots down the field.
McCarthy was applauded for keeping OC Kellen Moore, but it wasn’t a strong effort for Moore to start the season. There wasn’t enough pre-snap motion and the quick out, comeback route combinations were eerily reminiscent of the old offensive philosophy.
The defense looked ill prepared to play a Rams offense that utilizes play fakes and bootlegs more than any other team in the league. Also, the CB’s weren’t in the same zip code as the Rams WR’s on numerous plays. Mike Nolan’s unit was fooled all game and they were fortunate to only give up 20 points.
Where was the blitzing or the aggressive defense we thought we were getting from Nolan?
Dallas was outplayed on both sides of the ball in their season opening loss. Most of the game was ugly and the Cowboys need to fix things quickly before it gets even uglier.
What’s this about the Cowboys and analytics? Almost nothing about loss to Rams screams change for Dallas - Tim Cowlishaw, DMN
Regardless, there is almost nothing else that we saw Sunday night that screams the Cowboys have changed how they go about their business from a year ago, when Jason Garrett, an old-school football coach and occasional critic of analytics-based decision-making, was in charge. Kellen Moore still calls the plays, and McCarthy has been on hand for eight months without imparting much analytics wisdom in his direction.
Consider the following from Sunday’s opener.
In the first half, the Cowboys achieved significant success while throwing the ball on first down — as much a favorite of the analytics crowd as passing up punts and going for it on midfield fourth downs. Running the ball on first down is considered practically a waste of time by the gurus. On first-and-10, Prescott completed passes of nine yards to Amari Cooper, 10 yards to Zeke Elliott, four yards to Tony Pollard, 33 yards to Lamb, six yards to Cooper, nine yards to Cooper, 12 yards to Lamb and 14 yards to Gallup. More than half of Prescott’s 187 first-half passing yards came on first downs as the Cowboys successfully put the Rams’ defense back on its heels.
So what did Dallas do in the second half on first-and-10 (not including the final two-plus-minute possession, when time was precious)?
Run Zeke. Run Zeke. Run Zeke. Pass to Gallup. Run Zeke. Run Zeke. Pass to Cooper. Run Zeke. Run Zeke. Run Zeke. Pass to Cooper. Run Pollard. Run Zeke.
Woody Hayes would have been proud.
Main Event Entertainment is a sponsor of the Cowboys. They’ve got some fun promotions going on this season for Cowboys fans. You can check some of them out at mainevent.com
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