Rabid Reaction: Our series of knee-jerk-styled, emotional overreactions from Ben Rogers of 103.3 FM ESPN's Ben and Skin Show. He's known to get way too excited over even the slightest of developments with the teams he grew up with in the DFW. Proceed with caution ...
Cowboys optimism has been in short supply around the Metroplex of late. It’s been easier to find a cool breeze inside the swirling volcanic winds of an August Rangers game than it has been to find a teaspoon of belief in America’s Team. This brave column has served as one of the last remaining beacons of Jerry Jones sunshine.
But dark storm clouds are now threatening to choke out even the last glimmers of hope for Cowboys fans as a knee injury outbreak is suddenly ravaging the thinnest positions at Valley Ranch. As fallout from Wednesday’s injury explosion transforms into a giant mushroom cloud of concern, the prospect of a Week 1 win against the New York Jets is slipping away faster than you can say Jermey Parnell.
Losing both right tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Mike Jenkins to hyperextended knees Wednesday leaves a team that was already bony at their respective positions flat out emaciated. Jones and company rolled the dice at tackle and decided to just carry one backup on the roster in Parnell, a converted defensive lineman with extremely limited experience.
Even if Smith is somehow able to Willis Reed his way out of the tunnel for his first game as a pro, do you really want an limping rookie out on the edge trying to protect Tony Romo from a hungry pass rush?
Meanwhile, the ridiculous need to carry two kickers on the roster might have kept the Cowboys from keeping former sixth-round pick Sam Young, whom they waived and had hoped to sign to the practice squad before he was scooped up by the Buffalo Bills.
Then, of course, there’s the extreme lack of depth at cornerback to consider. Team officials are hoping MRIs will reveal whether or not Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman are made of expensive porcelain. A source indicates that balsa wood is also a real possibility. All right, that’s not fair. Injuries happen. But rather than be disappointed with the wounded, perhaps you should aim your wrath at those in charge of restocking the empty cupboard. They’re failing miserably.
So with this recent injury news, combined with the lack of up and coming depth on the roster, early season dreams of Cowboy fans are collapsing so fast it would make Leonardo Dicaprio's totem explode.
Throwing in the towel on the season would be extremely premature at this point. Despite the Cowboys' shortcomings, this remains a league full of parity. Having said that, we’re also talking about a team that doesn’t stand a chance against the Jets in Week 1. So feel free to fly the flag of Cowboys optimism this season. Just be advised that you may need to go into hiding until they reach San Francisco soil in Week 2.
On the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies, the Dallas Cowboys are about to walk into a hornets nest of emotion at the Meadowlands to start their season. Not only will they be outmatched by a superior team in a challenging road environment, but they’re also not quite ready to tango as a team. They’re overwhelmed. They’re inexperienced. They’re undermanned. And now to add injury to insult, there are just a few too many key players spending time in the trainer’s room.
The Ben and Skin Show airs weekdays from 9 a.m.-noon on 103.3 FM, ESPN in Dallas-Fort Worth. Follow Ben on Twitter: @BenRogers