When the 2023 schedule was released, folks took issue with the Dallas Cowboys having a bye so early in the season. Most teams prefer a later bye to rest up before the stretch run of the 17-game schedule, but the Cowboys getting a respite in Week 7 might have been the best thing for them.
The Cowboys returned to the practice field Wednesday following their bye. Being that they haven't practiced in a week and a half, it's important to remember who's not available.
Trevon Diggs (knee) is on IR for the rest of the season, while linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), special steams standout C.J. Goodwin (chest) and tight end Peyton Hendershot (ankle) are all on short-term injured reserve.
Suffice it to say the Cowboys could ill-afford more injuries. Incredibly, every single player on the active roster was a full participant Wednesday. You simply will not see a shorter injury report this deep into the season.
Cowboys injury report: All 53 players healthy after Week 7 bye
What a beautiful, beautiful sight.
Juanyeh Thomas was a full participant on Wednesday after he missed Week 6 with a hamstring injury. The second-year safety is the only player on the Week 8 injury report and it stands to reason he'll be removed entirely if he logs another full session Thursday.
Of course, Cowboys fans will be knocking on wood after reading this report. Practice has been unforgiving to Dallas this season as far as injuries.
Diggs suffered his torn ACL in practice, while right guard Zack Martin tweaked his groin on the practice field. Left guard Tyler Smith and center Tyler Biadasz both suffered hamstring injuries in practice. Going back to preseason, safety Donovan Wilson suffered a calf strain in the first practice of training camp.
Smith missed two games, Martin and Biadasz both missed one game, and Wilson was shelved the first two weeks of the season.
It is worth noting, though, that left tackle Tyron Smith was limited Thursday with a neck injury. It doesn't appear to be serious or something that will jeopardize his status for Sunday, but it's something to monitor over the next few days.
Smith's injury notwithstanding, the Cowboys are experiencing positive injury regression. That's not to say more injuries won't occur -- it's the NFL we're talking about, after all -- but Dallas couldn't be in a better spot health wise coming out of the bye.
The Week 1 injury report didn't read this short and it might not read this short again all season, but that's the benefit of a Week 7 bye.
With a literal clean bill of health and nearly two weeks to prepare for the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, the Cowboys don't have any built-in excuses. They have to win to keep the pressure on the 6-1 Eagles in the NFC East.