By Shawn S. Lealos

The Dallas Cowboys season almost came to an end when they lost to the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving Day and also lost quarterback Tony Romo for the season. However, mathematically they are still alive in the playoff hunt. With the poor play of all the teams in the NFC East, a Cowboys win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football combined with a New York Giants loss would put Dallas one game out of first place in their division. However, they have to win out for that to happen. Here is a look at the Cowboys’ injury report for the season.

The biggest name on the Cowboys’ injury report is Tony Romo. Of course, Romo was hurt in the Panthers’ game, and he ended up with an injury to the same shoulder that took him out for the first half of the season. It is interesting that Romo was not placed on the injured reserve list, but this proves that the team still belles that they can make it to the playoffs in a weak NFC East. However, it won’t be easy with the Green Bay Packers still on the schedule. With Romo on the injured list, he can possibly be ready to return in the playoffs, but there is no guarantee of that.

As long as the Cowboys can win games, Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback. However, if they lose again, especially to the Redskins, there is a chance that Romo will end up on the injured reserve list. At that point, Dallas might be ready to test out Kellen Moore in the offense to see what he might offer them in the future.

Morris Claiborne is expected to make his return this week to strengthen the Cowboys’ secondary. This is perfect timing because safety Jeff Heath is questionable with a shoulder injury. With Claiborne out, Dallas was using a mixture of Brandon Carr, Byron Jones, and Tyler Patmon in the defense. With Heath out, Jones can return to the safety positions and give Dallas a little better talent when defending against the pass.

Dez Bryant is the only other name on the injured list, and he will stay there as he plays back from his foot and knee problems. He has been disappointing since returning, but he will have to play better with Cassel as his quarterback.

Dez Bryant, WR (foot/knee)
Morris Claiborne, CB (hamstring/ankle)

Jeff Heath, SS (shoulder)

Tony Romo, QB (shoulder)

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.