The Dallas Cowboys had a bad Week 1 for more than one reason. For starters, they lost to the Rams 20-17 thanks to a controversial call by the refs and poor judgment by new coach Mike McCarthy to not kick a game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter. However, there are bigger problems in Dallas on Monday morning with the Cowboys dealing with several injuries to key players.
It starts with tight end Blake Jarwin, who suffered what the Cowboys fear is a torn ACL that will end his 2020 season. Jarwin looked poised for a breakout season after the team parted ways with veteran Jason Witten after last season. The Cowboys have no experienced options at tight end behind Jarwin, putting them in a bind if his injury does indeed end his season.
On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch broke his collarbone on Sunday against the Rams. Vander Esch was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and could have been one again last season if he didn’t miss time late in the year because of a nerve issue. As the team’s middle linebacker, he’s one of the most important players on the Dallas defense, especially with Sean Lee on IR.
Finally, starting right tackle Cameron Erving also left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and will be sidelined for several weeks. When the Cowboys have had success in recent years, their offensive line has been a big part of it. With undrafted rookie Terence Steele the backup at both tackle spots, losing Erving could deal a huge blow to the entire Dallas offense.
Obviously, injuries are a part of every NFL season and something that every team needs to be prepared to overcome. But the Cowboys got hit with three critical injuries in Week 1. The losses of Jarwin, Vander Esch, and Erving are arguably more of a setback than the loss to the Rams, putting the Cowboys behind the 8-ball in more ways than one to start the 2020 season.