Cowboys Already Banged Up

“Some time” is a phrase that normally doesn’t seem that ominous, but when the Dallas Cowboys used it Wednesday to describe how long first-round pick Ezekiel Elliott would be out with a hamstring injury, it seemed to come with it’s own ominous soundtrack.

In what is being called a “lingering” hamstring injury, Elliott is being held out of Cowboys’ practice for a while. Could that mean no preseason games and a rusty rookie running back heading into the regular season? That might be the good news as long as his hamstring completely heals.

What the Cowboys can’t have is any injury slowdown for Elliott, who they drafted No. 4 overall to be the team’s next Emmett Smith. It’s another hit to the running back depth chart for Dallas after Darren McFadden nearly tore his arm off a couple of months ago trying to keep his cellphone screen from cracking.

While the prognosis isn’t complete doom and gloom for Elliott, the same can’t be said for No. 2 quarterback Kellen Moore. The Cowboys made focusing on their backup QB position a priority this offseason and continuing to develop Moore was a big part of that. Tuesday Moore broke his ankle during practice bad enough to require surgery to fix it. He’ll need about four months to recover, so unless they’re comfortable handing the primary clipboard to Mississippi State rookie quarterback Dak Prescott (and I would be, frankly), they’re going to hit the leftover free agent market to find Moore’s replacement.

The Cowboys at least already have a running back on the roster to carry the load while Elliott rests his leg and McFadden has his arm surgically reattached. The team signed former Washington Redskins Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris this offseason in a move that looks smarter by the day. As of Wednesday Morris is one of just three healthy running backs on Dallas’ roster along with Eastern Michigan rookie Darius Jackson Elliott’s former teammate at Ohio state, second-year runner Rod Smith. They’ll all get the chance to show what they can do early as even third-down specialist Lance Dunbar is opening camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Last year Moore started two games for the Cowboys and played well, which is why it’s such a bummer for the poor kid that he got injured. He completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 779 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. Not great numbers, but for a second-year quarterback working on being a career back up, it wasn’t bad.

The Cowboys’ quarterback depth chart looks like this as of now; Tony Romo, Prescott and camp arm Jameill Showers out of Texas El-Paso. After shutting down talk over the weekend that the team would bring in former St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, it seems like that’s become the real option.

For Foles the injury to Moore couldn’t have come at a better time. If he does sign with the Cowboys he’ll probably have the option to at least pick up the guaranteed money he lost when he negotiated his release from the Rams. He’ll also get a full training camp in the Cowboys’ system with no real expectation that he start. He can rejuvenate on the Cowboys bench for a season and collect some cold, hard cash. Not a bad deal.

Can Tony Romo fit through the bathroom door?

Listen, we all take a bad picture now and then. And we all do the same thing; blame the camera.

Romo showed up to Cowboys camp this week and had a similar experience as you can see from this photo.

Of all the criticism leveled at Tony Romo over the years, being a fat bastard hasn’t been one of them. All that changed this week. And it got so bad the team has been forced to actually comment on it and defend Romo’s honor and waistline.

“He (Romo) is in great shape,” Cowboys Executive VP Stephen Jones told reporters. “He’s in some of the best shape he’s been in, so I don’t know. You know everybody can take a picture of you that makes it look different than it is. But Tony’s in great shape.”

Romo at least had a sense of humor about the whole thing.

About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a writer and photographer based out of East Tennessee. His work has appeared in USA Today, the Associated Press, the Chicago Cubs Vineline Magazine, and many other publications.

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