One week ago, the Dallas Cowboys enjoyed seeing what their defense has the ability to do under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn when they're mostly whole -- having witnessed the return of starters Neville Gallimore and Randy Gregory to join All-Pro pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence in returning from injured reserve to start the month of December. The unit roundly thumped the Washington Football Team and ultimately saved the day after Dak Prescott and the offense were again out of sorts, but they'll have to take the field against the New York Giants without two key defensive lineman, with both Osa Odighizuwa and Trysten Hill having been moved to the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.
The news comes on the heels of what has hands-down been the worst week of the 2021 season in the NFL as it relates to the coronavirus, as the new Omicron variant (a much more contagious mutation that is deemed less dangerous) blew through the entire league. Recently, the Cowboys had their own outbreak to contend with (including players and coaches alike), but were seemingly coming out of the other end of it as team's like Washington found their roster ravaged by the virus.
The Cowboys currently have no known coaches on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and just one player last week in Cedrick Wilson, who has now been activated after only four days of being on the list. So while it's definitely a plus for Dallas that their enhanced protocols have helped them sidestep another outbreak, they couldn't avoid being touched completely and, as such, will have to lean more heavily on Gallimore in Week 15, along with defensive linemen Carlos Watkins and rookie Quinton Bohanna.
They've also activated Justin Hamilton from the practice squad as a reinforcement this, after Hamilton was waived to make room for the return of Gallimore and Gregory but cleared waivers and returned to Dallas. Odighizuwa, despite being a rookie himself, has played very well in his first season with the Cowboys and Hill, who returned from the PUP list and made an instant impact only to then be suspended one game, return and will now miss another due to COVID-19, has shown he can affect games as well -- when he's on the field.
He won't be on Sunday at MetLife Stadium though, but Quinn has been known to work magic in the absence of multiple players. He is hoping Week 15 will be no different, and especially with Mike Glennon again getting the start over an injured Daniel Jones.