Dallas Cowboys Set A Bad Example By Allowing Jason Witten To Play Earlier This Year

By Ben Grimaldi
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Back in August, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was injured in the first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Witten’s injury was a pretty serious one, he lacerated his spleen and his status for the Cowboys season opener early in September was in doubt.

As it turned out, Witten wound up playing in the win over the New York Giants and he hasn’t missed a game all season. Through his year’s in the league, Witten’s been known one of the game’s toughest players and this year has been no different.

Back then the Cowboys and Witten sought out more than the opinion on the status and long term ramifications of playing with the kind of injury that Witten had. There were even rumors that Witten signed a release form absolving the team from any blame if he were to get injured further.

Whether that is true or not shouldn’t matter because the Cowboys should have stopped Witten from playing in that game.

If Dallas had prevented Witten from playing in that game, maybe it would be easier to tell Dez Bryant to have season ending surgery rather than risking further injury. The Cowboys set a bad precedent by allowing Witten to play and they compounded it further by giving Dez Bryant the choice on whether to play or not.

Isn’t this what the team has doctors for? To stop the players from playing because they don’t know the risk like the doctors do. The doctors are the one’s who are supposed to be telling the players whether they can play or not for their own good. The Cowboys seem to be doing it the other way around and it makes no sense.

I’m a realist, believe me I know Witten and Bryant will stop at nothing to play, which is exactly why the team should stop them. Football players will say and do anything they can to get onto the field, rarely are they thinking about the long term diagnosis. I love the passion and toughness of both Witten and Bryant for wanting to play, just like they’ve done their whole lives.

I wouldn’t have thought any less of Jason Witten if he didn’t play week one and I wouldn’t think any less of Bryant if he chose to get season ending surgery. I’m guessing none of you would, the bigger issue is the Cowboys setting the example that the players are deciding whether to play or not. I think that is wrong.

The Cowboys are allowing players to take risks they should not be taking and I hope it doesn’t lead to a serious injury.

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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