IRVING, Texas – On Wednesday the Cowboys finally put Phil Costa on injured reserve with a dislocated ankle.
It was weeks too late and it cost the Cowboys a chance to add a veteran that could help immediately or a younger offensive lineman to develop for the future, like what they did by grabbing Darrion Weems off Denver’s practice squad.
They could have started the process with Weems – or somebody else at different positions – much sooner and possibly been better off.
The likelihood of Costa coming back from a significant injury during the season was minimal. Costa dislocated his ankle on Oct. 21 at Carolina. Because the joint went back into place, the team had some outside hope he return but as of last week he was still limping noticeably.
“You’re always trying to play that game,” Garrett said when asked if the Cowboys missed a chance at player development by waiting so long. “You want to develop players, there’s no question about that. We felt Weems was a good addition for us. You’re always trying to scout the league and see who can help us, see you can add to the roster. We did it with Jermey Parnell a couple of years ago. I think that’s a real positive thing for the organization, but at the same time you want to give yourself a chance to win right now. We felt like giving Phil a chance was the right thing to do. But again counting the weeks left and what we felt his rehab still would be, it just made sense to do it right now.”
The Cowboys are doing the same thing with Orlando Scandrick, whose only hope of returning from hand surgery will be if the team makes the playoffs. Their patience with Matt Johnson never paid off either because of recurring hamstring issues.
The NFL is a player acquisition business and the Cowboys have missed the chance to find players to develop during the course of the year.