As the Dallas Cowboys continue their way through training camp, optimism high in Irving. The offense seems to have plenty of pieces in place to play at a Super Bowl level while the defense isn’t expected to lag behind so much now that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has the physical cornerbacks he needs.
But if there is one thing that can torpedo a season above and beyond any other one factor in the NFL, it’s injuries and the Cowboys already have some minor nicks and cuts to deal with.
On offense, wideout Danny Coale, center Kevin Kowalski and guard Mackenzy Bernadeau have started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Coale, a fifth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, is recovering from April surgery on his right foot. Meanwhile, Bernadeau, who is expected to start at guard and possibly fill in at center this season, is coming off hip and knee surgeries and is also finishing up his recovery.
On defense, the Cowboys have a few bumps and bruises with safeties Matt Johnson and Gerald Sensabaugh also on the PUP list.
Safety Brodney Pool failed his conditioning test and Barry Church has stepped right in and is impressing everyone through the first two days of camp. He’s working with the starters at the moment and either Pool or rookie Matt Harrison will have to beat him out for the starting job.
The good news for the Cowboys is that none of these injuries are serious and none of the players hurt here are named Tony Romo or DeMarcus Ware. At the same time, the Cowboys have under achieved the last couple of seasons and if they are to put everything together to make a run, they can afford to have nagging injuries hampering their depth.
Of the lot, the biggest concerns should be about the offensive line with two players banged up, although the injuries are quite minor in nature.
The Cowboys enter the season at 23/1 on the NFL odds to win Super Bowl XLVII and we’ll get our first official look at the 2012-13 team when they visit the Oakland Raiders on Monday, August 13th for their first preseason game.
I’ll leave you with this positive note my Cowboys friends. There’s a lot of positive energy in camp, so much so that tight end Jason Witten feels this is the Coboy’s time to shine.
“It goes fast and I will be damned if I let this opportunity slip away and not come away with a championship,” Witten told the Dallas Morning News.
“It has been a heck of a run. But it’s time we grab it. That goes for all of us, the core group of us. That is what coach Jason Garrett has talked about. This group is trying to do it.”
That’s music to any Cowboy’s fans ears.