The Dallas Cowboys were one of the most cursed teams in 2012 when the injuries they sustained crushed the team’s ability to field their best lineup on either side of the ball for the entire season. You name the week and I can tell you what important player was missing from the Cowboys lineup.
Jay Ratliff missed the first five games of the season, Jason Witten wasn’t healthy for week 1 and Phil Costa played a total of three plays before he left the season opener with a bad back. The avalanche of injuries began there and continued for the rest of the season; Ratliff also missed the last five games of the year, so did Orlando Scandrick and Bruce Carter. Costa played a game and a half before being lost for the season with an ankle injury, while his replacement Ryan Cook also missed time. Tyron Smith missed a game, Anthony Spencer missed two, DeMarco Murray missed six, Barry Church barely played in three and DeMarcus Ware played the last half of the season at half speed.
Am I forgetting anybody? Oh yeah, their heart and soul leader on defense Sean Lee missed the last ten games of the season with a foot injury. He was one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL last year when his injury occurred and the Cowboys missed him dearly.
So while looking at the Cowboys roster and wondering if they could do enough to in free agency with little cap space, maybe what the Cowboys really need is for their players to play more games. Adding up all of the games some of their best players missed last season and it might be like they’ve added some good players in free agency.
I’m not naive enough to believe injuries won’t happen again this season but having a little more luck in the health department may hold their fate in 2013.