By Shawn Lealos
For the first time in the 2014 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys have all their linebackers healthy heading into a big game. Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins injury report for their week eight Monday Night Football game.
While Sean Lee is on the injured reserve for the entire season, the linebackers who are still eligible to play have not been at 100 percent since the first game against the San Francisco 49ers. In that game, even Anthony Spencer was still sitting out recovering from knee surgery. However, Spencer returned a few weeks back and other injured linebackers have come and gone from action.
Justin Durant, Bruce Carter and Rolando McClain are the three starters and they have only all started together once – in the very first game of the NFL season. Since then, rookie Anthony Hitchens has started at least one game at each of the three positions as a fill-in and there have been weeks where two of the stars were missing for a single game. This week, all three starters are back in action as Bruce Carter finally returned to practice this week with a strained quad.
Another scary injury on the defense is that of cornerback Brandon Carr. He pulled a hamstring in the Cowboys’ win over the New York Giants. He finished the game and has been limited at practice this week. With Morris Claiborne finished for the season, the Cowboys are very shallow at the corner position. While it may not hurt much this week, it is something that the team needs to work on. Carr looks like he will play against the Redskins.
Defensive end Anthony Spencer was also limited in practice, but will be every week until Dallas is sure that he can go 100 percent on his surgically repaired knee. He is playing every week despite his limitations in practice. Dez Bryant (shoulder) and Jeremy Parnell (chest) were full speed in practice.
Right tackle Doug Free will miss another game with his foot injury, but Parnell filled in fine last week. Reserve defensive end Jack Crawford (calf) was inactive last week and has not practiced this week either.
The big news at Washington is that starting quarterback Robert Griffin III is still out of action after dislocating his ankle in week two. While Kirk Cousins looked good in the beginning when he took over the starting quarterback job, he has regressed as the season wore on. Now, with the Washington Redskins preparing to battle their biggest rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, on Monday Night Football, Colt McCoy will start the game.
McCoy hasn’t started a game since 2011 when he started 13 for the Cleveland Browns. Since that season, he has only thrown 30 pass attempts in regular season games, playing three with the Browns, four with the San Francisco 49ers and now one with the Washington Redskins. Over his career, he has a 58 percent completion percentage with 22 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He has also been sacked 61 times in his career.
Inside linebacker Perry Riley has been a full participant in practice this week after recovering from his sprained MCL. He will play on Monday night, but head coach Jay Gruden said the team might rotate him in and out with Will Compton to keep him fresh after missing time. Gruden did say that, when Riley proves he is 100 percent, he is the full time starter.
- Jack Crawford, DE (calf) – did not practice
- Doug Free, T (foot) – did not practice
- Tony Romo, QB (back) – did not practice
- Bruce Carter, LB (thigh) – limited practice
- Anthony Spencer, DE (knee, foot) – limited practice
- Dez Bryant, WR (shoulder) – full practice
- Jeremy Parnell, T (chest) – full practice
- Chris Baker, DL (thigh) – full practice
- Ryan Clark, S (ankle/shoulder) – limited practice
- Robert Griffin III, QB (ankle) – limited practice
- Alfred Morris, RB (ankle) – full practice
- Tracy Porter, CB (hamstring) – limited practice
- Perry Riley Jr., LB (knee) – full practice
- Trent Williams, T (knee) – limited practice
For more Cowboys news and updates, visit Cowboys Central.
Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He writes for a variety of national publications and has over 15 years of sports journalism experience. Follow Shawn on Twitter @sslealos. Examiner.com.