Dallas Cowboys: Why it’s impossible to protect players from injury

Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) is attended to after an injury in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) is attended to after an injury in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Here’s why I’m not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys resting players in their final game of the season because of a fear of injury.

At this point in the season, I am totally against the Dallas Cowboys resting players because I’m selfish. Like many of you, I am an avid fan of fantasy football. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 75 million people played fantasy football. Many are playing for free, but there’s often a small wager, a trophy and definitely bragging rights involved. This year, I was fortunate enough to win two of three fantasy leagues.

One of my fantasy championships wasn’t an easy victory because Derek Carr, quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, was injured in Week 16 and didn’t complete the game. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett chose to sit his Pro Bowl rookie running back, Ezekiel Elliott at halftime. Fortunately, I managed to win by one point – like I said, fantasy football players like myself, are selfish.

There was a rash of injuries in Week 16 to key players like quarterbacks Marcus Mariota of the Tennessee Titans and Robert Griffin III of the Cleveland Browns. Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith suffered a knee injury and cornerback Anthony Brown suffered a concussion. The NFL is a contact sport and unfortunately, injuries happen every week.

Not all injuries occur on the field during the season. Cowboys running back Darren McFadden injured his elbow in June while trying to catch his cell phone. If you’ve ever thought that all players are created equal, then welcome to the end of the NFL season. At the end of a meaningless game, Elliott rests while quarterback Dak Prescott, tight end Jason Witten and receiver Dez Bryant stays on the field. Who’s the MVP of this team?

Now, Cowboy Nation must trust the wisdom of our great owner and general manager Jerry Jones regarding player playing time in the final game of the regular season. Entering the playoffs, Jones has decided that our current starting quarterback isn’t important and will start in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles. If we’re not lucky, Cowboy Nation might get to see more of Mark Sanchez.

Jones has also decided that quarterback Tony Romo was too important to play in the regular season home field finale even though Cowboy Nation screamed “We want Romo” and “Tony, Tony, Tony” at the conclusion of the Detroit Lions game. With a 14-point lead, seeing #9 was the reason I watched the entire game. As for Romo’s importance, where was Jones’ logic when my quarterback was injured during a meaningless Week 3 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks in August?

Afterwards, Prescott was a rookie that didn’t need any reps in the fourth week of preseason. We needed to protect our only quarterback going into the regular season, but as we enter the playoffs, Prescott needs more reps in a meaningless game. I’m not sure I follow the Jones’ logic – Romo need reps during preseason to prepare for the regular season. At the same time, Romo doesn’t need reps during the meaningless season finale to prepare for the playoffs.

Jerry Jones Quarterback Logic Breakdown

 Tony Romo Do not protect in preseason, protect for playoffs
 Dak Prescott Protect in final preseason game, do not protect for playoffs
 Mark Sanchez Who? Expendable with a one year deal.

I’m not a fan of players resting “because they might get hurt” – in that case, we should just notify NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that the Cowboys will forfeit the final game in Philadelphia. That’s why I would love to see Romo take the field because he would torch the Eagles with our practice squad. #9 has played with and beaten them with worse teams.

It would be a great tune-up to enter the playoffs and he gets an extra week of rest. It would be unfortunate if his last NFL pass with The Star occurred away from “the House that Romo built”.

Next: Dallas Cowboys Early 2017 Seven Round Mock Draft

Prescott is tough, yet I feel like Jones and Garrett have been more interested in protecting him from competition than injury. Let Romo play, even if it’s for Cowboy Nation’s own selfish reasons.



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