The hits just keep on coming for the Dallas Cowboys defense on the injury front. Defensive tackle Neville Gallimore suffered a dislocated elbow during the preseason and Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence broke a bone in his foot on Wednesday and will be out for six to eight weeks. That's damaging enough to a defensive unit that gave up a franchise-record 473 points a year ago, but heading into their Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cowboys could be without two more key defensive players.
Starting safeties Donovan Wilson and Damontae Kazee showed up on the Cowboys injury report on Thursday which puts their ability for Sunday up in the air.
— fishsports (@fishsports) September 16, 2021
Wilson's groin issue isn't new territory. The former Texas A&M missed two games in 2020 with the same injury. Much like hamstrings, groin issues can linger throughout an entire season. Wilson has missed the last two days of practice with the issue, and if he can't go, look for veteran Jayron Kearse to fill in at strong safety. He was tied for the team lead with 11 tackles in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kazee's thigh injury made him a limited participant in Thursday's practice. In his Cowboys debut in Week 1, he was credited with two tackles and had a huge forced fumble on Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin late in the fourth quarter. If Kazee is a scratch for Sunday then look for prized free-agent addition Malik Hooker to get the start at free safety.
Not having Wilson and Kazee will be a blow to the Cowboy's defense, but luckily, Kearse and Hooker bring a lot of experience to the table. The former has over 1,100 defensive snaps and 12 starts since entering the NFL in 2016. The latter came into the league a year later but has nearly double the number of plays logged defensively, and is recognized as one of the better ball-hawking safeties when healthy, which he currently is.
It'll be interesting to see what developments come about over the next few days with the injuries to Wilson and Kazee.