As painful as it is to say it, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten needs to sit out Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. According to this blog post from Mickey Spagnola, it hurts for Witten to even breathe.
Rookie tight end Martellus Bennett, the Cowboys’ second-round pick, has stepped in nicely and made some key catches already this year after a shaky training camp. He can play the role for three weeks as Witten fully heals.
The pressure this puts on the Cowboys coaching staff is figuring out how to get the ball to their star wide outs, Roy Williams and Terrell Owens. Witten risks more serious injuries if he pushes himself onto the field Sunday. At 5-3, the Cowboys certainly can’t risk losing many more than two games the rest of the season. It is unlikely more than 1 team with 6 losses will make the playoffs this year if the Giants, Redskins and Panthers continue to roll on because there is a stockpile of 5-3, 4-3, 4-4 and 3-4 teams on the board. The Cowboys would need four of these teams to just drop out of contention soon for them to have a chance to make the playoffs with 6 losses. Defeating the Bucs helped, but losing to the Skins did not.
Witten’s presence is not completely critical for the Cowboys to win, even though he has had some spectacular games against the Giants in the past. He should sit out for a few weeks and allow his ribs to heal.