On Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys officially placed defensive tackle Ben Bass on season-ending injured reserve.
Bass, a Texas A&M product, suffered a dislocated left shoulder in practice on Thursday. Initially expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks, Bass’ MRI results later proved that the damage to the shoulder was far more substantial than initially anticipated. It marks the second time in consecutive seasons that Bass’ season has been cut short by injury.
To replace Bass on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys signed 6-foot-4, 297-pound, defensive tackle Jerome Long, who was with the team during training camp, and played in all five preseason games. Long offers the team versatility because he can play both defensive tackle and defensive end.
During the preseason, Long didn’t get any sacks but did manage to record nine quarterback hurries and six tackles, four for loss. He graded out positively according to Pro Football Focus, who gave him an overall grade of 5.3 with a 3.0 in run defense and a 2.1 in pass rushing.
During that same span, Bass recorded one sack, one quarterback hurry, and five tackles, all of which were for a loss. However, PFF has Bass graded negatively with a -2.0 overall grade. Bass graded out positively against the run, receiving a 1.9 grade in that category, but he received a -3.4 in pass rushing.
While I don’t expect that Long, a former seventh round pick, will come in, and shock the league, he does offer the Cowboys some much needed depth along the defensive front. I think that based on Long’s preseason numbers, he will offer the Cowboys just as much as Bass would have had he stayed healthy.