The Dallas Cowboys are off to amazing 2-0 start, but with key players out with injuries, can they overcome the dreaded injury bug?
The Dallas Cowboys have started off the season to an electrifying 2-0 start. Although their opponents are low on the food chain and abysmal (New York Giants and Washington Redskins), the Cowboys dominated both divisional foes in convincing fashion.
This season, the Cowboys’ offense has scored a total of 66 points, and quarterback Dak Prescott is playing like a rejuvenated Super Bowl caliber quarterback on his way to winning a Lombardi trophy. The Cowboys’ offense is operating on an All Pro type level with weapons galore.
The Cowboys defense is not playing on the same level as the offense just yet, but it has kept the lesser opponents under wraps. But with that being said, the Cowboys face their biggest test yet: Can this team win the war of attrition?
As of right now, Dallas has several key players bitten by the injury bug. Wide receiver Michael Gallup (out 2-4 weeks with knee injury), nose tackle Antwaun Woods (sprained the MCL in his left knee), safety Xavier Woods (high ankle sprain), Tyrone Crawford (hip injury), and wide out Tavon Austin (concussion protocol) are expected to miss at least a game, and in some cases more.
Dallas can ill afford to lose any one of those players because they’re key contributors as starters or role players. Gallup was Dallas’ leading receiver with 226 receiving yards and was off to the best start of his young career. Better yet, Gallup was a deep receiving threat and had built a rapport with quarterback Dak Prescott.
When it comes to the safety position, Woods suffered a high ankle sprain Sunday against the Washington Redskins and his availability against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday is doubtful. Woods’ injury is one that can keep him out as long as six weeks.
That’s a bad sign for Dallas considering their safety position is their weakest link-the weakest link being safety Jeff Heath.
Nose tackle Woods and edge rusher Crawford are role players that can get to the quarterback and stop the run. With All Pro DeMarcus Lawrence getting double teamed, Crawford benefited from timely sacks like the one he recorded against the Redskins.
Austin is special team’s ace and fourth receiver that can play in the slot. Although Dallas is deep with receivers, Austin ability to take a punt to pay dirt or at least give Dallas good field position is a game changer in itself. Dallas ranks almost last in punt return yardage.
Despite these untimely injuries, Dallas’ greatest strength may be in their depth. Site expert Reid Hanson wrote a detailed article explaining the depth on this team and how it might not skip a beat with all of these players out.
The reality is that Dallas has players to pick up the slack while these players recovery from their injuries. Wide out Devin Smith displayed his talent on Sunday when he beat loud mouth, overrated Josh Norman for a 50 yard touchdown reception. Smith can slide right in and produce like Gallup.
Either nose tackles Christian Covington or Trysten Hill will make his rookie debut on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. These two will replace Woods.
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Darian Thompson will more than likely move into the safety position taking over for the Woods, and maybe rookie Donovan Wilson will get some playing time and showcase his ball-hawking skills. If Wilson can produce like I believe he can, then Dallas’ secondary will only be that much better when Woods return.
Dallas should absolutely destroy the Dolphins for their third win of the season, and this team is more than capable of beating the New Orleans Saints without future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
After that, Dallas faces super human Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the New York Jets, the evil Philadelphia Eagles, and hapless, pathetic New York Giants. In order for Dallas to at least beat the Packers, they need a lethal pass rush to sack Rodgers and a secondary capable of containing the Packers’ receivers.
Rodgers has broken my heart too many times. It’s time for Dallas to flat out destroy the Packers. And they need every player available to do it. We’re long overdue.
If Dallas’ depth is as good as advertised, then this team won’t skip a beat while their key personnel nurse their wounds, and this team can easily win 13-14 games. But the war of attrition has begun and we’re about to find out if Dallas can win this battle.
- Published on 09/19/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 09/19/2019 at 11:01 AM