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Romo-less Cowboys may not be as doomed as you’d think

Photo+courtesy+of+Sports+Illustrated.%0Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.si.com%2Fnfl%2F2015%2F09%2F20%2Ftony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/20/tony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated. http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/20/tony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated. http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/20/tony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles

Garrett Jones

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Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated. http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/20/tony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/09/20/tony-romo-injury-broken-collarbone-cowboys-eagles

Dez Bryant’s injury in the first game of the 2015 season was a tough blow for a Cowboys team that shattered expectations last year. With a 12-4 record, a division title, and a playoff win all under their belt, Dallas came into the season with Super Bowl ambitions. In a 27-26 win at home against the New York Giants on Sep 13, Bryant left the game early and further medical examination revealed that he broke a small bone in his foot. He actually needed a bone graft during the surgery that took place last Sep 14, according to sources informed of his procedure. The team had originally hoped that Bryant would miss only 4 to 6 weeks due to the injury. Instead, he could possibly miss 10 to 12, as his recovery process could vary depending on how he responds to the procedure.

With Bryant gone, fellow receivers Cole Beasley, Lucky Whitehead, Terrance Williams, and Devan Street will have to step up and fill in for his production, something that while difficult, is not impossible. The Cowboys headed into game 2 at Philadelphia already banged up, but still found their way to a 20-10 win. The Cowboys defense stepped up big, and restricted the Eagles offense to very little production, including just 2 yards rushing from former Cowboy running back Demarco Murray. The defensive performance aside, the real story from the game wasn’t a part of the game itself- it was another injury.

In the third quarter, Quarterback Tony Romo took a snap, bobbled the football, fell to his knees attempting to recover it, and was pancaked on the ground by a pair of Philadelphia defensive linemen. Romo immediately grimaced in pain on the ground, and was helped off the field by the team trainers and doctors. As he walked off the field, though the broadcast included no direct audio, Romo’s lips muttered the dreaded words ‘It’s broken.’ Later medical tests confirmed this fear, and it was revealed that he suffered a broken left clavicle bone and can be expected to miss about 8 weeks, depending on his recovery progress. Romo so confidently knew what his injury was because he has actually suffered it before. In a 2010 Monday night game against the New York Giants, Romo broke his same left clavicle. Romo missed the rest of the season; The Cowboys went 4-5 without him to finish 6-10. Quarterback Brandon Weeden will now fill in for Romo.

Those numbers obviously back up that Dallas is better with Romo. However, this year’s Cowboys team is much more talented than that 2010 team. The defense and offensive line are elite, while that year’s was abysmal. If Romo misses 9 games this year like he did in 2010, he would miss the games against the Falcons, Saints, Patriots, Seahawks, Eagles, Buccaneers, Dolphins, Panthers, and Redskins. If the team can manage to add in 5 wins out of these games, a very do-able proposition, they would be looking at a record of 7-4 with Romo and Bryant returning for a playoff run.

Injuries never help a football team. Especially not when they are to two of your team’s best players. However, with an elite offensive line and defense, a solid receiving core in addition to a manageable schedule, the Cowboys ship is not sunk yet.

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Romo-less Cowboys may not be as doomed as you’d think