Every year, there are injuries in the preseason. It’s inevitable. No matter how hard you try, guys are going to get hurt when you play 4 football games. You just have to hope they aren’t serious ones to serious players. One team hit a lot by injuries this preseason has been the Dallas Cowboys. Now they have another one to add to that list as nose tackle Jay Ratliff left their 3rd preseason game with what’s since been diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. Ratliff, ProFootballFocus’ 7th ranked defensive tackle last year, is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, which puts his status for week 1 in serious doubt. The Cowboys might not see him until week 2 or 3.
The Cowboys have suffered other injuries this preseason. Miles Austin has missed time with hamstring problems and, while he’s expected to play week 1, hamstring injuries tend to linger and Austin missed 6 games and was limited to just 43 catches for 579 yards and 7 touchdowns last year in the 10 games he did play because of hamstring problems. Jason Witten, who hasn’t missed a game since 2003, his rookie year, is questionable for week 1 after lacerating his spleen in preseason action. Dez Bryant, meanwhile, hurt his knee, but he appears to be fine. Their lack of receiving depth could really be exposed. Their backup wide receivers and tight ends have combined for 47 career catches.
The Cowboys have also suffered many injuries on the interior of their offensive line, where they were weak to begin with. Starting center Phil Costa missed the whole preseason with back problems, though he’s expected to play this week and be ready for the opener. David Arkin, Mackenzy Bernadeau, and Bill Nagy have also had injuries, with Nagy’s injury leading to his release. He signed with the Lions. For a team whose interior offensive line was weak to begin with, injuries are definitely not a good thing. On the defensive side of the ball, Mike Jenkins is expected to begin the season on the PUP, while Morris Claiborne dealt with some injuries and had what was described as a “frustrating” Training Camp.
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