The Dallas Cowboys have been held back by poor offensive line play over the last few years and even though they made it a priority this offseason, it appears the team – at least temporarily – is back to square one. You can expect that to directly affect their game plan as they prepare for the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 of the preseason.
Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers
The Cowboys are without their top three centers on the offensive line and that was evident in their first preseason game. Quarterback Tony Romo was under a ton of pressure in the short period of time that he played and took a pretty big sack (by preseason standards) from Oakland Raiders lineman Tommy Kelly.
Phil Costa, Bill Nagy and Kevan Kowalski are the three centers who were missing in action and the two guards that the Cowboys signed in the offseason – Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau – have missed the first couple of weeks of training camp.
Ideally, the Cowboys would love to get everyone on the field together and see this unit start to gel but at the same time, they also don’t want to see Romo get hurt behind a wonky offensive line.
For their upcoming contest in Week 2, don’t look for the Cowboys to be overexerting themselves. They have a veteran lineup in place and they don’t need to prove much to the Chargers. If anything, the Cowboys will be looking to see what kind of depth they have on their front five with players like Derrick Dockery and Jamaal Jackson.
The Cowboys need to get out of the preseason as healthy as possible. They know they’re a Super Bowl contender and they’d rather not hurt their NFL odds of attaining those goals with a key preseason injury.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has suffered a lacerated spleen in Monday’s 3-0, preseason-opening win at Oakland. Speaking at a news conference in Oxnard, Calif., coach Jason Garrett on Wednesday called the injury “very serious” and confirmed the seven-time Pro Bowler will miss the rest of the preseason.
“We’re really taking this thing day by day,” Garrett said. “He has to be very still and idle for the next week to 10 days.”
Although he said it’s premature to discuss Witten’s status for the opener, Garrett said surgery is an option if there are no signs of improvement.