The situation with Josh Brent has forced the Dallas Cowboys to make yet another move on the defensive side of the ball. Today they placed the defensive tackle on the reserved/non-football illness list and signed Brian Schaefering. Schaefering’s arrival is especially helpful because the Cowboys will likely be without Jay Ratliff out again this week.
Schaefering is a fourth-year defensive tackle to who played for Rob Ryan in the Cleveland Browns organization and has collected two sacks over his career. His knowledge of the system and familiarity with Ryan likely made him an ideal option for the Cowboys.
Before the season started, the Cowboys had a ton of depth on the defensive line, but injuries and other factors have decimated the position. They started with seven solid options and two practice squad players the team was high on. Now the team barely has enough bodies to start in their 3-4 alignment.
Think about the palyers the Cowboys have lost at one of the most important positions on the field; the names include Keyon Coleman, Jay Ratliff, Ben Bass and now Josh Brent. The team also lost Sean Lissemore, now the starting nose tackle, for a number of weeks to an injury as well. The Cowboys never had their full rotation on the defensive line all year so it’s no wonder they have been giving up more yards in the running game. And that list doesn’t include the linebackers who are out for the year.
The silver lining is that rookie Tyrone Crawford is getting valuable playing time and looks like he can play, and if you haven’t noticed, Jason Hatcher has been outstanding all year. The team could have quite the rotation if they could all stay healthy.
The Dallas defense has been hit extremely hard by the injury bug and the latest incident hasn’t helped the situation but they keep on battling. Every week we keep saying we’re not sure how many more injuries the Cowboys can sustain and the next week the team needs to replace another player.
With all the players missing on the Cowboys defense this season, it’s shocking they’re still in the playoff race. Now let’s hope their bad fortune stops now.
Feel free to chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi