It’s not fair to say that injuries are the reason the Dallas Cowboys are not winning games and in danger of not making the playoffs.
While it may contribute to it, it’s not the only reason; you and I both know that. So, when I hear Cowboys fans say, “if only the team was healthy, they’d have a better record,” I think to myself, what games are you watching?
Injuries are a part of the game, and every team in the league is dealing with them. Some teams suffer more injuries than others, but at the end of the day every team will deal with them throughout the season. It’s up to the general manager and scouting department to add depth to the team to help them absorb some of those injuries.
Luckily for the Cowboys, the scouting department has done a good job in finding guys off the street. Take the addition of Ernie Sims, for example.
If you had told me that Sims would be a starting inside linebacker alongside Dan Connor to finish the season, I would have probably told you that you were crazy. However, that’s the case going forward because the Cowboys lost both of their starting inside linebackers to season ending injuries.
That makes four defensive starters lost to injury this season. Barry Church was lost with a torn Achilles’ Tendon, Sean Lee with a torn tendon in his big toe, Kenyon Coleman with a torn triceps muscle and Bruce Carter with a broken and dislocated elbow.
To replace Carter, the Cowboys have signed Brady Poppinga. The 33-year old has had to overcome two major knee injuries during his seven year career, but hopes he can make an impact after not playing football for almost 10 months.
“I was in what you would call Batman shape, meaning, when I get the call, boom, I put the mask on and I’m gone,” Poppinga said. “So I got the mask on and here I am.”
The 6’3” 252-pound linebacker spent his first six seasons as a member of the Green Bay Packers. He started 44 games there and had his best season in 2008 when he recorded 69 tackles. Last season Poppinga played for St Louis Rams and recorded 51 tackles in 12 games.
So, for the sake of the Cowboys’ “next man up” defense, let’s hope the addition of Poppinga turns out as good if not better than that of Sims, who has 22 tackles and one pass deflection through five games.