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Cowboys Catch Flak After Waiting To End Phil Costa's Season

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Cowboys put center Phil Costa on injured reserve this week, six weeks after he suffered the dislocated ankle that ended his season. 

    Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com takes issue with the team's decision to wait so long to make the roster move with Costa, whose injury was significant enough that there was always a fair chance he's miss the rest of the year. Archer thinks the Cowboys should have been more aggressive in their handling so that they could have used the roster spot on a player that could have helped the team now or been developed for a role down the line.

    Coach Jason Garrett agreed that developing players in that manner is crucial, but he argued that getting Costa back offered them a greater reward. 

    "I think that’s a real positive thing for the organization, but at the same time you want to give yourself a chance to win right now. We felt like giving Phil a chance was the right thing to do. But again counting the weeks left and what we felt his rehab still would be, it just made sense to do it right now."

    We're not going to make any judgments about the way the Cowboys handled their diagnosis of Costa's recovery time because we have zero medical information or training. If they felt there was a chance he'd return in time to help, we'll take their word for it. 

    But it fits in a larger trend of the team making personnel decisions that don't make much sense given how precious every roster spot is when you only have 53 of them. Whether it is because of injury -- Costa and safety Matt Johnson both qualify this season -- or sheer uselessness -- remember David Buehler? -- the Cowboys always seem to have dead roster spots. 

    It's especially galling this season because there's a rule that allows teams to designate a player to return from injured reserve after eight weeks while filling his roster spot in the meantime. The Cowboys have not used this option, but Costa seems like he would have been a perfect fit since Dallas was obviously willing to wait a long time for him to get back. 

    This is another entry in the "Things We Don't Like About Jerry Jones, General Manager" file. It's probably not something that would have made a difference in terms of wins and losses right now, but it might have unearthed someone helpful for the future. It's about maximizing every opportunity, something the Cowboys have failed at too often over the last few years.