By Shawn Lealos
The Dallas Cowboys have locked up a playoff spot, but still have an outside chance for a first round bye if they win their final game and Seattle loses to the St. Louis Rams. As unlikely as that seems, Head Coach Jason Garrett feels that this week’s season finale against the Washington Redskins is a game that Dallas needs to win regardless. Taking that into consideration, here is a look at the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins injury report for the final game of the 2014 NFL regular season.
The biggest name on the Cowboys injured list is DeMarco Murray. Less than one week after breaking his hand and undergoing surgery, Murray played against the Indianapolis Colts and helped the Cowboys lock up a playoff spot. This week, Murray has also been suffering through an illness, and missed some practice. However, Garrett said that they will not rest their stars, and that includes Murray. The idea is for Murray to continue to work on his ball handling with the extra padding, so he will have it down pat when the playoffs start.
Tony Romo is still on the injury report for his back, as he has been all season. This game remains worrisome for Cowboys fans. When Romo played the Redskins in 2013, it ended his season as he needed surgery the following week on his back. When the Redskins beat Dallas earlier this season, Romo got a knee driven into his back, which caused him to miss the next game. If Romo is hurt again, the Cowboys’ playoff hopes expire.
The Cowboys do have one doubtful player that won’t play this weekend in offensive lineman Doug Free. Jeremy Parnell will start in place of Free and has been a solid replacement this season when called on. Free hasn’t been ruled out, but he won’t start. Zack Martin seems to be back to full strength.
On defense, Rolando McClain should play as he recovers from a knee injury. He missed practice this week as he dealt with the fact that his house burned down. Josh Brent is also listed as probable after missing time with a calf injury.
The Washington Redskins have a huge number of players on their injured list. Robert Griffin III found his name on the injured list with a right shoulder injury, but he expects to play on Sunday. When the Redskins beat the Cowboys earlier this season, it was with Colt McCoy as their starting quarterback, but McCoy’s season has ended and this will be Griffin’s last chance to show what he has as this offseason might see some major changes for him.
One of Griffin’s best offensive linemen, Trent Williams, is listed as questionable. There is a good chance that Williams, who earned a Pro Bowl berth this week, will play. Williams has been playing through ankle and knee injuries over the past few weeks and played in the Redskins win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Former Dallas Cowboys’ standout defensive lineman Jason Hatcher will probably miss this weekend’s game with his old team, as he is listed as doubtful with a knee injury. This will be his third missed game in a row and it looks like the Cowboys might have made a smart choice when they let Hatcher go in the offseason.
- Josh Brent (DT), Calf
- Jeff Heath (SS), Thumb
- Zack Martin (G), Ankle
- Rolando McClain (MLB), Knee/Personal
- DeMarco Murray (RB), Hand/Illness
- Tony Romo (QB), Back
- Bruce Carter (OLB), Knee
- Doug Free (T), Ankle
- Dekoda Watson (OLB), Hamstring
- Robert Griffin III (QB), Rt. Shoulder
- Bashaud Breeland (CB), Thigh
- Barry Cofield Jr. (DE), Shoulder
- Tom Compton (T), Knee
- Will Compton (LB), Shoulder
- Jackson Jeffcoat (LB), Calf
- Kory Lichtensteiger (C), Stinger
- Darrel Young (FB), Ankle
- Trent Williams (T), Shoulder
- Chris Baker (DE), Toe/Elbow
- Keenan Robinson (LB), Knee
- Stephen Bowen (DE), Ankle/Illness
- Gabe Miller (LB), Ankle
- Jason Hatcher (DE), Knee
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.