The biggest injury news out of Dallas this week has been the placements of both Tony Romo and Gavin Escobar on injured reserve. The move for Romo was held off until the Cowboys were officially eliminated from playoff contention, so no surprises there. But Escobar suffered an Achilles injury last week against the Jets that’s now going to cause him some significant offseason rehabilitation.
But let’s look at the full injury report for both teams.
The Buffalo Bills have a total of 13 players listed on their injury report, per DallasCowboys.com. These players are RB LeSean McCoy, S Bacarri Rambo, DT Stefan Charles, LB Nigel Bradham, RB Karlos Williams, C Eric Wood, RB Boobie Dixon, TE Charles Clay, CB Ron Darby, G John Miller, WR Walter Powell, CB Ron Brooks, and DE Mario Williams.
The most troubling injury for the Cowboys is obviously wide receiver Dez Bryant. Being listed as doubtful with a foot injury is likely a sign that he will miss the remainder of the season in favor of playing it safe in meaningless games to make a full comeback next year. I’m not a big proponent of taking such game changers out of the lineup when you’re trying to evaluate younger guys.These younger guys
These younger guys always end up playing together but this time, several young men have a chance to be plugged into the #1s to see how they perform.
If you’re going to take a look at a guy like Brice Butler in the #2 WR position, you’re not going to see as much without also having Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten out there drawing the coverages they draw and making the plays they make. But that’s just me. It’s a team sport and the team on the field matters when evaluating players. The Cowboys have a luxury this week against the Bills they don’t often get, and that’s to see what these potential starters can do when everything matters, unlike in the preseason.
Having said that, don’t be surprised if Bryant, Beasley, and Witten all take fewer snaps the rest of the season.
Dallas Cowboys Backup Notes:
Behind Jason Witten at tight end has been Gavin Escobar, but since he’s out for the year, expect to see more of James Hanna and Geoff Swaim. Hanna is facing free agency after this season so the team will want to see him fight for a new contract. And Swaim is a rookie 7th-rounder out of Texas that people have been clamoring for since the preseason. Look to see him get some meaningful snaps these last 2 weeks, even if Witten is healthy enough to play.
At wide receiver, I’d expect Cole Beasley to play as much as his health allows. With Bryant likely out, Brice Butler should get more playing time. One of the bigger individual disappointments this season has the play of Terrance Williams. The third-year receiver was expected to have a breakout year but instead has become a weak link on this offense. Butler has shown that he is capable of making big plays and will do his best to show everyone that he can do that consistently. Also, look for Lucky Whitehead to get snaps in a more typical WR role.