If the Cowboys are going to bounce back in Week 2 they'll have to do it without several key players due to injuries. Dak Prescott is the glaring absence, but three other starters won't be suiting up when Dallas hosts the Cincinnati Bengals tomorrow/
Just how bleak is the Cowboys' situation? Will the Bengals be dealing with any comparable absences? Let's see what the Week 2 injury reports have to say.
- QB Dak Prescott (thumb) – OUT
- WR Michael Gallup (knee) – OUT
- G Connor McGovern (ankle) – OUT
- DE Tarell Basham (thigh) – OUT
- S Jayron Kearse (knee) – OUT
Four starters are missing and an important rotation player on the defensive line; not a good scenario for the home team. But weathering the other losses would feel much more feasible if Cooper Rush wasn't at quarterback.
Rush will get his second NFL start thanks to Prescott's thumb, fractured last week against Tampa, and subsequent surgery. Dak is expected to miss at least 2-3 games but there's hope he could return by Week 5, which prompted Dallas to not place him on injured reserve this week.
The Cowboys' roster suffered greatly in the season opener. Basham, Kearse, and McGovern were all injured against Tampa Bay and could be missing multiple weeks with non-surgical issues.
The McGovern injury is especially problematic as Dallas' offensive line was already in disarray. Matt Farniok struggled greatly in pass protection as the substitute. The hope now is that Jason Peters can be ready to go and allow Tyler Smith to get back over to guard.
Michael Gallup is still working to get back from his 2021 knee injury and this may be his last missed game. Gallup was a limited practice participant all week but won't play against the Bengals. If the WR group struggles as much tomorrow as they did a week ago, though, Dallas may not be as protective with NFC East play starting in Week 3.
While losing Kearse is a blow to the defense, it's somewhat mitigated by Donovan Wilson and more opportunities for guys like Israel Mukuamu and Markquese Bell. Safety was one of the few spots on the 2022 roster where Dallas has legitimate depth.
- WR Tee Higgins (concussion) – Questionable
- TE Devin Asiasi (quad) – Questionable
- DT Josh Tupou (shin) – Questionable
It's a much different story for the visiting Bengals. Higgins is the only starter listed and he was a full participant in Friday's practice, so the receiver should suit up in Dallas.
Asiasi was the only player limited on Friday but he's a third-string TE, so the game hardly swings on his presence. Tupou is a backup DT and wouldn't be an impactful absence, but he's also likely to play.
Cincy isn't missing any of its key talent right now. CB Cam Taylor-Britt, their 2nd-round pick in 2022, is on IR but how much he was going to contribute immediately is hard to say. The Bengals still have Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple as their starters.