It isn’t probably the most excellent state of affairs for the Dallas Cowboys, however it may most definitely be worse. As groups across the NFL endure one devastating harm after one other, the Cowboys have remained largely upright, and the accidents they’ve suffered have not been of the season-ending selection. Because the crew shaved its roster down from 80 males to 53, nonetheless, it did unencumber three seats by making the choice to ship Ventell Bryant, La’El Collins and Sean Lee to injured reserve. In years previous, this may’ve been extremely regarding, however the brand new IR guidelines in 2020 make that now not the case.

Resulting from each the continued COVID-19 pandemic and new collective bargaining settlement that itself amended IR guidelines, gamers are now not compelled to take a seat a complete of six video games earlier than returning to the sphere. They’re now sidelined for under three, their well being allowing, which implies Bryant, Collins and Lee are eligible to return as early because the Oct. 4 battle with the Cleveland Browns. Moreover, the Cowboys are allowed to return a vast variety of gamers from IR this season, an enormous change from 2019 and prior.

With an abbreviated means to ramp up in August for the common season, accidents such because the leg ailment on Bryant, the sports activities hernia on Lee and the hip harm on Collins want extra time to heal. In not forcing them to stay on the lively roster, the Cowboys made room to return linebackers Justin March and Joe Thomas, who present nice depth within the absence of Lee, in addition to defensive again C.J. Goodwin to help within the secondary.

Resulting from NFL guidelines, gamers have to stay on the 53-man roster for twenty-four hours earlier than being moved to injured reserve, making the preliminary launch of March, Thomas and Goodwin procedural.

However, whereas the Cowboys will presumably be nice within the absence of Bryant (having claimed wideout Malik Turner off waivers to fill the position at WR depth and on particular groups), that is much less true when factoring in Lee and most definitely Collins, given the influence of the latter two. Lee, who has fought harm at roughly each step of his NFL profession, is coming off of top-of-the-line and most sturdy seasons since becoming a member of the crew in 2010. He was key in serving to to save lots of the Cowboys corps of linebackers in 2019, as Jaylon Smith struggled and Leighton Vander Esch discovered himself on injured reserve with a neck harm. The worth in maintaining Lee round for 2020 was hammered residence final season, however the crew will now be with out him for many all of September. 

The presence of each Thomas and March will assist salve that wound, however issues do not look almost as promising — on paper — behind Collins at proper sort out. That is one space the Cowboys have been hit onerous at in coaching camp, with backup swing tackles Mitch Hyatt and Wyatt Miller having now been waived injured. They will now lean closely on Cameron Erving — signed to a one-year deal this offseason — and Brandon Knight, an undrafted expertise who admittedly impressed in restricted obligation final season. From there, it will be on undrafted rookie Terence Steele to offer rotational assist, however the jury is out on if the previous Texas Tech standout can step in and instantly assist influence a recreation with no preseason snaps underneath his belt.

This will likely finally result in the Cowboys getting that rather more artistic offensively, and in significantly with their blocking schemes and willingness to unleash extra of the storied West Coast installs put in place by Mike McCarthy in his first yr with Kellen Moore. It’s actually a easy science in that if Dak Prescott will get the ball out shortly over the following three weeks, he will not have to fret about backups to backups having the ability to shield him for six seconds. 

Collins, who has missed just one recreation the final three years, is a drive for the Cowboys reverse Tyron Smith and beside Zack Martin, so his absence shall be felt. Time will inform simply how a lot, however the excellent news is — like Lee and Bryant — there’s an opportunity their veteran lineman returns when the calendar strikes to October.

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