Dallas Cowboys: Depth is key if coronavirus makes ’20 a war of attrition

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys depth could be tested if the current pandemic breaches their locker room.

The Dallas Cowboys are a fairly top-heavy team in the NFL. Employing some of the best, and highest paid, players in the league, the Cowboys are pretty slim in the middleclass ranks. While their depth is promising, it’s largely unproven.

How the Dallas Cowboys depth shakes out this season, could go a long way in determining their fate this season. That’s because in the age of a highly communicable pandemic, sports in 2020 could be as much of a war of attrition as it is a test of talent.

Regardless of your politics or feelings regarding coronavirus and the level of danger it imposes on society, its effects on the sports world is undeniable. In March, everything grinded to a halt and only now are we on the cusp of resuming professional team sports.

How successful the NBA and MLB are in their reboot will tell us lot about what we can expect from the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL. Unless the NFL goes to a full lockdown, in a bubble, on an island, and in a cloud of Lysol, positive tests, at some point, are inevitable. Just like it breached the pro solo-sports played outdoors (the PGA and Pro Tennis) it’s bound to breach the NFL at some point. And it’s this belief that makes depth more important than ever before.

Why Dallas Cowboys depth is so much more important this season

Depth has always been important in the NFL. Football is a violent sport and these are highly tuned athletes stressing their bodies to the limits. The looming pandemic just adds to that risk of attrition.

It’s not unfathomable to think each team will see positive tests at some point this season. And it’s equally as possible for a team or two to get hit especially hard.

What’s important to understand is it doesn’t matter if the player is crippled with illness or completely asymptomatic, if they test positive, chances are they will be quarantined until they no longer test positive.

To think that’s just uniformly two weeks is a mistake. The more we learn of this bizarre virus the more we realize we how unpredictable it is. This isn’t to lecture on an issue that’s already saturating your life every minute of the day, but rather explain how disastrous it can be to an NFL roster.

We’re seeing healthy young people, only suffering mildly, testing positive for four, five, even six or more weeks. What happens if a team’s most important player tests positive? What happens if they keep testing positive for a month or more? Quite frankly, it could doom the season for that team.

Can the Dallas Cowboys afford to lose DeMarcus Lawrence for two games? How about six games? Can they survive without Dak Prescott? What about if the WR room gets hit and they have to populate the roster with practice squad receivers? The O-line is a tight knit bunch – can you imagine losing them all for 2-6 weeks?

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The point isn’t to debate the potency or legitimacy of the pandemic at hand (folks seem to get awfully outraged by the topic), but rather discuss how positive tests are on the rise and if a player produces a positive test, he’s likely to be quarantined away from his teammates until he’s positive no longer. And since that can be much longer than the standard two weeks everyone seems to be citing, it could be detrimental to the team’s success.

That’s why depth is so darn important this season. Not only do the Dallas Cowboys have to develop coverage for normally expected injuries but depth also has to insure against positive tests for an indeterminate amount of time.

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This is going to be a very strange season for sports and it’s likely going to come down to health and depth more than anything. Are the Dallas Cowboys built for this?

  • Published on 06/30/2020 at 17:48 PM
  • Last updated at 06/30/2020 at 17:48 PM