On paper, everything looks fine for the Dallas Cowboys; but their injury history says they need all the insurance their bloated budget can buy. Could they find some in veteran tight end Kellen Winslow?
Health of Jason Witten and Miles Austin troublesome
Injuries are the single biggest reason in deciding whether a team makes or misses the playoffs. The Chicago Bears were the trendy Super Bowl pick before they lost Jay Cutler. The Indianapolis Colts went from 10-6 to 2-14 without Peyton Manning. How teams handle injuries is key to winning in the NFL. That is why many Cowboys fans worry about the 2012 season. Everywhere one looks there are injury problems. Top rookie draft pick Morris Claiborne hasn't played in a game yet. Fellow corner Mike Jenkins just returned from an injury while the offensive line hasn't put together a stable group all preseason. Worst of all though is the health of the Dallas receivers. Dez Bryant appears good to go but veterans like Jason Witten and Miles Austin are less clear. Witten isn't expected to play in the opener because of a lacerated spleen from a bad hit. Austin can't shake hamstring problems that dogged him last season too. The team already lost Martellus Bennett and Laurent Robinson to free agency. If any of those three go down for a longer length of time then quarterback Tony Romo is in serious trouble.
New England Patriots pass on Winslow after workout
One way they can find some help is free agency. Even this close to the regular season there are a few player that could help Dallas at the right price. Veteran receiver Plaxico Burress still doesn't have a new team and long-time rival tight end Chris Cooley is available. One of the bigger names though is Kellen Winslow. Despite a good 2011 season knee injuries have scared teams away from the 29-year-old. The Seattle Seahawks released him after giving up a draft pick in a trade to get him. Then a workout for the New England Patriots fell through. That isn't a big surprise since the team was already loaded at that spot with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Dallas will have Witten back soon but the depth behind him isn't the best. The team has plenty of cap space. Perhaps a one-year deal for Winslow will give Romo some security against losing one of his favorite targets down the line.
Jason Witten is a key piece to the Dallas Cowboys offense. When he goes down it's almost impossible to replace him. Though Kellen Winslow has his problems he is a solid player who can put in some good work when asked.