The conversation surrounding the Dallas Cowboys has changed following their 42-10 loss against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Regarded as a Super Bowl contender after the first four weeks, the Cowboys suddenly have glaring issues to address before they can be taken seriously again.
In terms of standout players, KaVontae Turpin, Johnathan Hankins and C.J. Goodwin are the only ones that come to mind.
While all three players deserve credit for showing up when the team laid a collective egg, it's no surprise the Cowboys were demolished given none of their marquee players played up to expectations.
To make matters worse, two of Dallas' top performers suffered serious injuries. Turpin, who caught the Cowboys' lone touchdown in the game, reportedly suffered a high-ankle sprain that's expected to sideline him for 4-6 weeks.
Incredibly, Turpin's diagnosis was the "least" of Dallas' injury worries, as Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News put it.
Cowboys injuries: Updates KaVontae Turpin, CJ Goodwin, Leighton Vander Esch
Turpin was one of a few bright spots for the Cowboys on Sunday night. His 26-yard touchdown reception breathed life into a depleted fan base, as it brought Dallas within 14-7 halfway through the second quarter.
Little did the fanbase know that's as close as the team would get to the 49ers, but it was a massive play in the moment regardless. It was a gorgeous throw by Dak Prescott -- his lone highlight from an otherwise dreadful game -- but Turpin showed off his speed and ball-tracking skills to come down with the catch.
Turpin has really come on as a weapon in the passing game, so this injury is a really tough break for him and the Cowboys.
Beyond Turpin, special teams ace C.J. Goodwin suffered a torn pec in the game and will miss the remainder of the season. One of the best special teams gunners in the NFL, Goodwin had been playing close to 90% of the ST snaps. In his age-33 season, you have to wonder what this injury means for Goodwin's future.
In the meantime, Dallas has monster shoes to fill on special teams. Maybe Nahshon Wright comes off IR this week and fills a gap, but you're talking about two of the Cowboys' most valuable special teams contributors in Turpin and Goodwin being lost for a substantial amount of time.
In other injury news, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch could go on injured reserve with a neck injury suffered in the loss, per Mike McCarthy. Vander Esch missed three games last year and seven games in 2019 with a neck injury, so it makes sense why Dallas is taking every precaution with the veteran.
As if the Cowboys' performance wasn't punishment enough, right? What a devastating weekend for Dallas on multiple fronts.