Tony Romo is widely referred to as one of the better if not best quarterbacks in the NFL. In three of the last five seasons he has thrown for more than 4,000 yards missing that mark once due to injury. Last season he was one of only four quarterbacks to have a rating over 100 for the entire season (102.5). Love him or hate him you have to admit that the man is good.
In all fairness–and just like any other quarterback in the NFL–he would be nothing if it not for his supporting cast. Jason Witten is one of the best receiving tight ends in the game. Dez Bryant is an emerging talent (as long as he stays out of trouble) who has yet to reach his full potential. Miles Austin is proof positive that great players don’t have to come from Division I programs (his alma mater, Monmouth, is a Division III program).
As good as he is, and as good as they all are, it will mater little if none of them are lining up to play when the season starts.
The Dallas Cowboys were already thin at wide receiver this season before the injury bug hit the team. In recent weeks Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin have all been stung with injuries. While that would normally not be too big a deal in the preseason (it gives the team a great excuse to sit the starters) some of the issues could drag on into the regular season.
Bryant has had trouble with a hamstring early on in training camp, but its an injury that happened Monday that could prove troublesome. After leaving practice with pain in his knee Monday it was discovered that Bryant has patella tendonitis in his right knee. An MRI showed no structural damage, but whenever they can’t put a timetable on a player’s return you know the issue is not a small one.
A pesky hamstring injury has been keeping Miles Austin out of action lately, much like it did last season. If something that caused him to miss six games last season is acting up this season in training camp it’s hard to see Austin being a reliable weapon for Romo and the offense.
What has to be the most worrisome of injuries that have hit the Cowboys is the lacerated spleen Jason Witten suffered against the Oakland Raiders. Doctors didn’t think that he would need surgery, but his projected return has gone from definitely coming back in time for Week One to now possibly missing it.
If that were all the injuries it would be easy to say the Cowboys are hurting at wide receiver, but there is more. Saalim Hakim is out with a broken finger, Donovan Kemp left practice Monday with knee problems, and Andre Holmes left with stiffness in his back.
So were the season to start today the Cowboys would be forced to start Kevin Oggletree, Dwayne Harris, or Cole Beasley. If one of these guys go down the team might have to see if Brandon Carr or Mike Jenkins can run a few pass routes!
Romo can work some magic, but he can’t cure injuries. With all the talk in Dallas of the Super Bowl window closing on the team’s stars it would be shocking not to see Dallas go after a quality wide receiver somewhere in the coming weeks.