Entering just the second week of training camp in Oxnard, the Cowboys continue to fall victim to the injury bug that hampered them all of the 2012 season.
The boys’ lost 71 games by starters because of injuries last season, 51 of which were on the defensive side of the ball.
This offseason, Head Coach Jason Garrett made sure that his staff focused on methods to ensure player’s health.From analyzing the team’s strength and conditioning program to changing practice methods, Garrett was hopeful that the team found ways to keep everyone on the field for 2013.
However if the first week of training camp is any sign of what’s to come, the Cowboys could be facing another rough season injury-wise.
On the first day of training camp, defensive end Tyrone Crawford went down with a season ending torn achilles tendon. Crawford was expected to play a big role for Monte Kiffin’s defense this year, backing up DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
The second year player was widely viewed as up and coming within in the organization and was a shoe-in for a roster spot. The team will now likely scavenge around for veteran help on the line to fill the roster spot.
In addition, Anthony Spencer, the starter in front of Crawford, had to return to Dallas to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after an MRI revealed a bone bruise. Spencer is expected to return to the team in two to four weeks, but the feared pass rusher will now be behind in getting ready for the 2013 season.
The injuries, however don’t stop with the two defensive ends.
Four other Cowboys players have suffered hamstring injuries. Yes Cowboy fans, that dreaded hamstring issue. The victims include two starters, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau. The other two players, tight end James Hanna and offensive lineman Jeremy Parnell were expected to push for more playing time in 2013, and will now each experience their own setbacks.
The hamstring problem has been a cancer in Dallas as of late. Fans need not to be reminded of the hamstring issues that plagued some of their starters last season, highlighted by the problems of wide receiver Miles Austin.
Garrett has repeatedly said that nagging injuries like hamstring strains and pulls are common in training camp. I would agree that indeed is true. But, the Cowboys constantly seem snake bitten by these bothersome injuries. These nagging injuries are damaging for the team, as players don’t start the season in shape or take the field at 100%.
Chemistry is developed in training camp and that’s truly when a team forms it’s identity. With notable absences and injuries mentioned above, the process of coming together as one cohesive unit is stalled. By not practicing, players lose time to hone their skills and be prepared for the game speed of the regular season.
Injuries happen in the NFL, I understand, but for the Cowboys they have been happening too often.
Cowboys Nation has to be thinking: Here we go again.