The injury bug has been biting the Dallas Cowboys. Actually, let me rephrase that; injuries continue to impact the Cowboys and their chance of doing much this season. I know it’s only the preseason, but the number of injuries the Dallas Cowboys have is alarming. Prior to last night’s contest against the San Diego Chargers, Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reported on the number of injuries to Cowboys players, and listed those who were not scheduled to suit up. Here’s the list:
Defensive end George Selvie (groin), defensive tackle Terrell McClain (ankle), defensive tackle Ben Bass (hamstring), defensive end Ben Gardner (shoulder), linebacker Rolando McClain (hamstring, quadriceps), linebacker Will Smith (groin), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), cornerback Sterling Moore (groin), cornerback Morris Claiborne (knee), safety Jakar Hamilton (concussion), wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe (concussion) and tackle Darrion Weems (shoulder) will not play.
As you look at the list you may be thinking, “Why should I care about this?” We’ve only played one preseason game. There’s still plenty of time to get on track right? That may be true, but then again, it may not. Here’s why.
Competition – In theory, the more players you have on the field in the offseason, the better chance you have to fill the roster with quality starters and depth. Competition brings the best out of competitive athletes. If you’ve got so many guys out or nursing ailments, the competition level is lower and the Cowboys may miss on a player that could have really helped them out.
Defensive Deficiencies – Look at the list of players that didn’t suit up. How many of them are on the defensive side of the ball? Of the 12 listed, 10 are on defense. That’s a bad sign for a team that desperately needs to have a better showing than they did last year.
Preventing Injuries – There’s a reason roster sizes are so much larger in the preseason than in the regular season. Players have been away from full-contact football for a prolonged period of time and, outside of getting a look at a larger sample size, the larger rosters help limit injury-prone players and keep guys fresh. Of course, the nature of the game can eliminate this theory in one fail swoop, but overall, Dallas and every other team in the NFL would prefer to not have to play guys longer than they have to. Especially in the early stages like where we are now.
I don’t know about you, but the number of injuries and the frequency in which they’re coming is concerning. Here’s hoping this trend dies off before the games start to count.