When it rains, it pours, and at this point it's a monsoon in North Texas. The club has a laundry list of key players on injured reserve, and that includes cornerstone players who won't return this season -- Tyron Smith and La'El Collins done for the year, and starting center Joe Looney sits on IR beside them in a season where he was slated to replace a retired Travis Frederick. And to make matters infinitely worse, it's now possible both Brandon Knight -- who is tasked with replacing Smith at left tackle -- and perennial All-Pro right guard Zack Martin will both miss the Cowboys meeting with the Washington Football Team in Week 7.. The offensive line itself has been decimated, with both
Knight suffered a knee injury in the team's blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, and sources tell CBS Sports the swing tackle is expected to miss approximately two weeks with the injury. Given the Cowboys run of bad luck with prognoses lately, it's something to keep an eye on to ultimately determine if that timeline for his return expands going forward -- as others have before him. in the first quarter with a concussion and did not return, and head coach Mike McCarthy admits the team is uncertain about his status for Week 7 against the Washington Football Team.
Martin will be evaluated later in the week.
Martin was replaced in-game by second year lineman Connor McGovern, who saw the most action of his short career against the Cardinals. After redshirting his rookie season in 2019 due to a torn pectoral muscle, the former third-round pick has struggled to get onto the field in Year 2 before now, logging just two offensive snaps all season before Martin's injury. If the future Hall of Famer can't go on Sunday, McGovern will get his first career NFL start, and against one of the best defensive lines in the entire league. It would also mark just the third time in Martin's illustrious seven-year career that he's missed a game, usually one of the Cowboys more durable iron men.
For Knight, it's been a topsy turvy season that's seen him spend time at both tackle positions in an attempt to salve the gaping wound created by the absence of Smith and Collins, and the team must now figure out who gets the nod in his place.
Cam Erving was scheduled to return from injured reserve in Week 6, but the veteran came down with an illness not related to COVID-19, and it's undetermined if he's healthy for Week 7. They have another option in Greg Senat, whom they poached from the Cleveland Browns practice squad in early October, and they could also reach down to their own practice squad and promote players like Jordan Mills, Eric Smith or William Sweet. All of this is far from ideal for the Cowboys, obviously, who are now relegated to simply throwing bodies at the edges and praying -- set to start an offensive line full of backups and backups to the original backups.
And with the Washington defensive line up next, backup quarterback Andy Dalton will have to figure out how to stay upright and productive, assuming he can do either.