Sunday really can't get here soon enough.
Not just because it represents the start of the Cowboys season either. It's also because the longer the Cowboys practice, the less likely it is that they will have any healthy players remaining to take the field against the Jets. Mike Jenkins and Tyron Smith hit the infirmary on Wednesday, which should lead the team to be outfitted in bubble wrap until they hit the field in New Jersey.
Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram thinks they should go a step further. Engel suggests keeping Tony Romo out of the game against the Jets so that he doesn't wind up back on injured reserve thanks to an inexperienced line further depleted by the injury to Smith. The theory is that punting the first game will set up the Cowboys to do a better job in the 15 left on their schedule.
Why not bench Jay Ratliff because the defense is still learning its new scheme? He'll get double and triple-teamed, that could lead to an injury.
And let's not play Miles Austin, Dez Bryant or Felix Jones either. Jon Kitna might throw a pass too high and cause a strained oblique muscle or Jones could turn an ankle trying to make someone miss in the backfield.
In fact, let's put 'em all on IR and come back to try it all over again next season.
Even though he insists otherwise, there's not much doubt that Engel is having a little bit of fun here as a way of pointing out the obvious about the state of the Cowboys roster this weekend. He can't possibly believe the team would benefit from Jason Garrett telling them that there's no point trying to win this weekend because a few players are injured and because they are breaking in a new offensive line.
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Yes, there's a risk that Romo is going to get hurt. That risk exists in every game played by every quarterback no mattter how good the offensive line is in front of them. Such is life in the NFL.
The only thing you can do is turn to the next guy in line and tell him to do his job. And if he can't, you turn to the guy after that and tell him to do his job. And so on and so on and so on until you find somebody who can do it or until the season comes to an end.
It might sound bleak, but it is the only way forward for any team faced with what the Cowboys are facing right now. And for the Cowboys, a team far too comfortable making excuses for themselves in recent years, it is even more essential that they step up and make a strong accounting of themselves in an adverse situation.
It won't be easy and it might even hurt a bit, but the season is here whether you like it or not. That means everyone plays, plain and simple.
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