Monday, November 24, 2008

Injuries are NOT the problem in Dallas

Today I heard the argument that the Cowboys were struggling this season because of injuries.  While it would be foolish to discount the impact that injuries have on NFL teams, that is the biggest cop-out I've ever heard.  Every NFL team deals with injuries.  Every.  Single.  One.

Yes the injury bug is biting the Cowboys - HARD - this season, but when the team is coming off an injury-free season like last year, you almost have to expect this.

Last season, 64 different QBs started in the NFL (consider the '07 Panthers started 4 QBs including David freakin' Carr and 68-year-old Vinny Testaverde right off his couch) and only 1 QB (Tony Romo) for Dallas. Dallas had both its top two RBs last season in Marion Barber and Julius Jones all year long. Yeah, WR Terry Glenn was out for really the entire season save the final two games, but Jason Witten, TO, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin, the O-line, everyone was healthy.

Defensively last season, the secondary was healthy all year (warning: that doesn't mean Roy Williams could cover). Greg Ellis, DeMarcus Ware, Bradie Jamies, Terence Newman, Ken Hamlin, Roy Williams combined to miss 7 games in 2007. Yes Jason Ferguson got hurt, but Ratliff emerged to be the dominant force we've seen this season.

Bottom line, this team was extremely fortunate a year ago when it comes to injuries. This year, not so much, and you have to overcome those things in the NFL. Every team goes through it. The Cowboys lost a lot when Romo missed three games, but Brad Johnson wasn't the only reason Dallas lost to the Rams, and he had nothing to do with the losses to Washington and Arizona.

This team still has the potential to advance in the playoffs regardless of injuries. They can't use that as their excuse.

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