By Shawn Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys went into their game last week against the Arizona Cardinals with backup quarterback Brandon Weeden and the offense couldn’t move the ball at all. While the team is playing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in week 10, they desperately want to get Tony Romo back in action. Here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars injury report for the big London game.
Honestly, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t have any trouble against the Jacksonville Jaguars and DeMarco Murray could probably win this game all on his own. With a bye next week, the Cowboys could have rested Romo for three full weeks before throwing him back out against the New York Giants after the bye week. However, they had Romo fly to London and he has now taken part in practice for two straight days, with a full practice on Friday.
Jerry Jones said that Tony Romo will play on Sunday, Jason Garrett said it all depended on Romo’s practices and Romo said he would only return if he could contribute at a level that could help Dallas win. With a full practice on Friday, Romo is playing on Sunday. If Dallas takes a big early lead, there is no reason that Brandon Weeden can’t close out the game to give Romo some rest and get some meaningful snaps in a non-pressure situation.
With that good news, the bad news is that Rolando McClain reinjured his groin and hasn’t practiced all week. With Justin Durant out for the season, that will leave the linebacker corps extremely depleted. Anthony Hitchens will have to move back to the MIKE position if McClain misses Sunday, with Bruce Carter moving to the WILL and Kyle Wilber playing SAM. That should make Carter happy, as he has been complaining recently about his snap counts.
On the defensive line, Nick Hayden was back at practice but Tyrone Crawford missed practice all week with his MCL injury. That should mean that Henry Melton will get the start, which is a positive since he has been the best pass rusher over the last two games. Rookie Davon Coleman will also get some extra playing time.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without three players for the game on Sunday against the Cowboys. Those players are defensive end Andre Branch, linebacker Jeremiah George and offensive guard Brandon Linder. However, while that is a tough break, the good news is that Cecil Shorts will finally return for Jacksonville at wide receiver and Marqise Lee will also be good to go after an ankle injury turned out to be better than feared.
Branch is missing his third straight game with a groin injury. George actually started at middle linebacker last week, but suffered a high ankle sprain and J.T. Thomas will move back into the starting role where he played at before George replaced him last week. Thomas started at the outside position last week, and Dekoda Watson will move into that spot to replace Thomas.
Rookie Brandon Linder started every game this season at right guard, but suffered a shoulder injury last week and will have to sit out. Jackues McClendon, who started at center the first two games of the season, will replace him at guard. Tyler Shatley will also get some reps as well.
- Bruce Carter (OLB), Finger – Probable
- Barry Church (FS), Shoulder – Probable
- Jack Crawford (DE), Calf – Probable
- Tyrone Crawford (DT), Knee – Out
- Doug Free (T), Foot – Probable
- James Hanna (TE), Hamstring – Probable
- Nick Hayden (DT), Shoulder – Questionable
- Anthony Hitchens (OLB), Chest – Probable
- Ronald Leary (G), Groin – Probable
- Rolando McClain (MLB), Knee/Groin – Questionable
- Jermey Parnell (T), Chest – Probable
- Tony Romo (QB), Back – Probable
- Anthony Spencer (DE), Knee/Foot – Probable
- Orlandus Branch (DE), Groin – Out
- Jeremiah George (LB), Ankle – Out
- Brandon Linder (G), Shoulder – Out
- Christopher Clemons (DE), Knee – Probable
- Cecil Shorts (WR), Hamstring – Probable
- Robby Bortles (QB), left Wrist – Probable
- Josh Evans (S), Shoulder – Probable
- Marqise Lee (WR), Ankle – Probable
- Gregory Watson (LB), Hamstring – Probable
- Jerald Martin (S), Shoulder – Probable
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.