Dallas Cowboys: How they handle injuries in Week 3

Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have dominated their first two games against division rivals, but it seems in the process they have encountered a significant amount of casualties and especially at key positions. How are the Cowboys going to deal with this?

Outscoring your opponents 66-38 and going 2-0 for the season is generally recognized as a good start to the season. The offense has been explosive with 968 yards of total offense, 7 passing touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns. In fact, Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t had a better start to the season in his career.

However, in the midst of this good season the Cowboys are taking a serious hit in the injury department. The Cowboys are facing the Miami Dolphins without these players: Michael Gallup, WR – Tavon Austin, WR – Tyrone Crawford, DL – Luke Gifford, LB – Xavier Woods, S – Antwaun Woods, DT

Even with these injuries, the Dolphins are still outmatched by the Cowboys but that can’t be said for the rest of the teams in the Cowboys near future. Fortunately. most of the injuries listed above aren’t supposed to keep them out for long but time missed is still time missed. If approached incorrectly, they could face more time away from the field.

To start the season the Cowboys only listed 5 receivers on their depth chart. Those were Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, and Devin Smith. After week one, Austin suffered from a concussion, and that injury prompted the promotion of Cedric Wilson to the 53 man roster. After week two, Gallup tore his meniscus requiring arthroscopic knee surgery.

Now the team only has 4 receivers. Fortunately, Devin Smith broke out last week against the Redskins, but if any receiver gets injured this weekend the team has a serious issue at the receiver position.

After the receivers, the defensive line depth has taken a hit. Tyrone Crawford was starting at the right defensive end position and Antwaun Woods was starting at defensive tackle. Even with Robert Quinn returning from suspension, the injuries to the two are important as they were starting caliber players and Crawford possesses positional versatility throughout the line.

For a Cowboys defensive line that was struggling to get pressure throughout the first two weeks of the season, injuries aren’t going to help. With Woods currently injured, this will also require Trysten Hill to play after being a healthy scratch for the first two games.

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This leads to the injury of the other Woods. Xavier Woods was having a great training camp and preseason and has continued to have success into the regular season. Many on the coaching staff believed he could be a breakout player this season, unfortunately, that breakout will be postponed as a result of a high ankle sprain.

While Darian Thompson and Donovan Wilson look to replace the third year safety, they too are coming off of injuries that kept them out week one against the Giants. The very possibility that these two end up on the injury report for a prolonged period of time is higher than anyone else on the team.

In all, while the team is stronger in talent, they are slowly losing valuable depth with each injury. An offense that was explosive to start the season could succumb to worse play as a result of injuries. A defense that hasn’t played to the best of their abilities could look to be the weakest link with injuries to starting players.

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Fortunately, the injury bug is only hurting the Cowboys roster for the short term. This should allow the injured Cowboys to come back full strength by week 6 against the Jets. Until then, how will team hold up against fairly talented opponents in the Packers and Saints?

  • Published on 09/21/2019 at 12:59 PM
  • Last updated at 09/21/2019 at 13:02 PM