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'Next Man Up' Theory to be Tested

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'Next Man Up' Theory to be Tested

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Jesse Holley #16 of the Dallas Cowboys runs after a catch in overtime past Donte Whitner #31 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has shown he can rally his troops.

That was evident by Sunday's game in which his team trailed 14-0 and had a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback behind Tony Romo's William Wallace-esque performance with a fractured rib and punctured lung.

One of the biggest plays of the game was Romo's  77-yard pitch and catch to Michael Irvin's TV protege Jesse Holley, who didn't have an NFL reception to his credit entering Sunday's game.

Garrett preaches his philosophy of "next man up" meaning someone else has to step up if a teammate goes down. That's great and all, but will it really work with this bunch that has seven starters on the injury list?

Now, Holley could be in line for some serious playing time on Monday night when the Cowboys host the 2-0 Washington Redskins, who sit alone in first place in the NFC East after two weeks.

Miles Austin is the least likely to play on Monday after injuring his hamstring on Sunday after his 143-yard, 3-touchdown game. Fellow wide receiver Dez Bryant missed Sunday's game with a quad injury and is uncertain for Monday though reports are suggesting he'll play.

If both are out, that would mean Holley and Kevin Ogletree would be the main outside targets for Tony Romo. Actually, Romo's status is uncertain as well though there's been no hard indication that he won't be able to play Monday, but how effective will he be?

Then there's Jason Witten, who bruised a rib on Sunday, and Felix Jones, who separated his shoulder.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, that's every single skill position starter on offense that has some sort of injury to deal with this week. How will that theory work in this situation?

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