Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys are no strangers to painful preseason injuries. Tony Romo's injury versus the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 indirectly ended his football career. This year, the team is midway through the preseason and has already been scared by Zack Martin sustaining a knee injury and Xavier Woods injuring his hamstring, just to mention the two most relevant players to have gone down in August action.
Jerry Jones has announced the team will not be taking any risks with their superstar running back this preseason. Ezekiel Elliott will not see the field in either of the Cowboys' next two games. As much as we'd love to see Zeke dominating every play as he usually does, the truth is this is a wise decision by the team's front office and coaching staff.
Elliott won't gain or lose anything if he carries the ball five times this week. The coaches know better than anyone what kind of player Zeke is. He is ready to go. If he's going to get around 25 touches per game, why risk him now? There is literally nothing he'd be able to show that we don't already know.
If the Zack Martin scare wasn't enough to keep #21 from playing, the team simply had to look to their rivals, the Washington Redskins, and how they lost rookie Derrius Guice for the entire season.
Besides, it will serve Rod Smith to get more snaps to build on an already impressive preseason performance. All of this leads us to another question, though. An important one.
Should the Cowboys sit Dak Prescott?
Unlike Ezekiel Elliott, there are reasons Dak Prescott should be playing in preseason. The offense still needs to figure out some things, especially in the pass-catchers department. Michael Gallup and Dak have shown off an early, promising chemistry and surely the Cowboys want to get them the most opportunities they're able to. The tight ends should get more chances to share the field with their starting quarterback.
But the thing is, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick won't be playing. Connor Williams has been struggling a bit throughout the preseason and even though he's shown improvement throughout the games, it's still difficult to trust him if Frederick and Martin are not there.
As I mentioned earlier, you still want to see Dak play more in the preseason for multiple reasons, but is the risk worth it? For approximately a half of playing time?
I won't be surprised if the team leans towards sitting him out just like they're doing with Ezekiel Elliott. These guys are the future of the franchise and losing any of them for even a week of the regular season would be terrible.
Every year, every single game matters. 2018 isn't an exception. In fact, getting to the playoffs will be a very tough task due to the level of competition present in the NFC.
The Cowboys will play the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday night. Whether or not they'll rest more starters besides Ezekiel Elliott remains to be seen but the ways things have been going this offseason, it should come as no surprise if we don't see much from our starters this week.