Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys Must Defeat This Nemesis

May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins (96) runs drills during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
May 6, 2016; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins (96) runs drills during rookie minicamp at Dallas Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

 The Dallas Cowboys are capable of beating any football team that crosses its path, but there is one nemesis they can never beat, year in and year out.

When it comes to winning football games in the NFL, it comes down to talent and coaching in most cases. For the Cowboys, they’ve proven they can win and lose games on any given Sunday, regardless if you believe Jason Garrett is a good head coach or not.

However, when it comes to this particular opponent, the Cowboys have a losing record, no answer for it. In fact, it destroys them every single, solitary year. It’s the main reason the Cowboys were 4-12 in 2015.

The opponent the Cowboys can never beat is the injury bug.

Every year it appears the Cowboys lose several key players to an awful, season ending injury or miss several games because of an injury.

For whatever reason, the Cowboys are always losing players to injuries. Whether it be in training camp or a regular season game, the expectation is the Cowboys will lose a good player to injury.

How many times have Cowboys’ fans received bad news that one of Dallas’ best players is out for the year with a torn ACL? Or a broken foot?

The latest casualty to fall to the injury bug is rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins, who suffered a broken right foot last week during the Cowboys’ OTAs (organized team activities). Collins will miss several practices, including the Cowboys three-day minicamp this month.

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The talented third-round pick out of Nebraska has already had surgery performed and is supposed to be out between 10-12 weeks. Collins will probably miss the bulk of training camp while recovering from surgery, which is not good news for the Cowboys defensive line.

The Cowboys were depending on Collins to strengthen their pass rush and add depth on the defensive line. Even if Collins is able to make it back in a timely fashion, he’ll be behind in terms of his development and conditioning, something the Cowboys can’t afford at this time.

Collins injury is nothing new because the Cowboys experienced this situation back in their 2014 training camp when then rookie Demarcus Lawrence broke his foot. The promising pass rusher returned to play in November of that season and was a major contributor in the playoffs.

I’m sure the Cowboys are hopeful Collins can duplicate the same success as Lawrence this season.

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This setback is nothing new to the Cowboys, who are accustomed to losing players to injuries. Back in 2014 at the Cowboys OTAs, linebacker Sean Lee tore his ACL in his left knee. At the time, it was a major blow to the team because the Cowboys lost their best defensive player.

In a drill that was supposed to be non-contact, then-rookie Zack Martin ran over Lee, causing the linebacker’s left knee to buckle. Lee missed the 2014 season and the opportunity to play in the playoffs and contribute to Dallas’ surprising 12-4 season.

It’s injuries like Collins’ and Lee’s that makes the Cowboys’ brass hold their breath when talking about a successful football season. The injury bug claimed starting cornerback Orlando Scandrick during last season’s training camp, a lethal blow to the Cowboys pathetic secondary.

Scandrick was by far the Cowboys’ best corner and couldn’t afford to lose him. The injury bug always attacks the Cowboys best players, including their best backups. That was the one of the reasons the Cowboys defense set franchise lows in 2013 because injuries decimated the defense.

The injuries were so bad for the Cowboys defense that players were literally coming off of the streets to play for the Cowboys in 2013. The Cowboys used several different players on defense that season to only lose in heart break fashion to the Philadelphia Eagles in a winner-take all season finale.

The injury bug doesn’t discriminate, as we all witnessed quarterback Tony Romo and Dez Bryant fall to injuries last season. Bryant broke his foot in the season opener against the New York Giants and missed several games before coming back to play, only looking like a shell of himself.

To watch Bryant perform at a subpar level, and to witness him drop easy passes and not dominate opposing cornerbacks like usual, was evidence the All Pro receiver was beyond hurt.

Romo broke his clavicle twice last season, the first time happening in a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and a second time against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys season was a lost cause after Romo’s devastating injury.

Except for the 2014 season, several of the Cowboys seasons in recent memory have been a lost cause because of injuries.

It’s not an excuse, just a fact.

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The fact is that the Cowboys have a losing record against the injury bug.

Until Dallas learns how to defeat and control their nemesis, the Cowboys Super Bowl aspirations will remain an afterthought.