In Week 1 of the NFL season the Dallas Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Randy Gregory for several weeks. The team didn’t look great, but still managed to pull off a win against the division rival, New York Giants.
In the second week the Cowboys’ defense really showed some solid play against another division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. The only problem with the win is the injury of all-pro quarterback Tony Romo. Initial reports are that Romo will be out for eight weeks. The team has placed Romo on Injured Reserve, with a designation to return. What that means is that Romo can not play in the next eight games. It also means that the team frees up a roster spot and some cap room, but that’s a small benefit for a huge loss.
In a season where every game is so critical I’m not over-selling the idea that I think most players and fans would have preferred to be 0–2 and have all these players healthy for the balance of the year. The Cowboys have (allegedly) already been on the phone trying to acquire the services of Kyle Orton. Orton played for the Cowboys in a backup role for a few years under Jason Garret, and would serve as valuable backup to Brandon Weeden who now assumes the starting role.
This is does all depend on if the Cowboys can pry Orton away from retirement, something the Buffalo Bills failed to do earlier this season. The Cowboys have two games coming up that could be winnable even without Romo. While the Atlanta Falcons are 2-0 as well, they have not impressed on either side of the ball. The New Orleans Saints are 0–2 and are missing a lot of their patented offensive punch.
If the Cowboys can hold down the fort for the next eight weeks or so, this team could still very much be in the playoff hunt. Given the highly competitive nature of the games, it’s hard to hold out hope for such outcomes.
It was a nice season while it lasted Dallas. Better luck next year.