Dallas Cowboys: Are Injuries to Austin and Bryant Enough Proof for Disaster?

Peter MatarazzoContributor IAugust 21, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 18:  Wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sidelines in the fourth quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on August 18, 2012 in San Diego, California.  The Chargers won 28-20.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

When it comes to Miles Austin, management, and fans included, have to be frustrated and perplexed by what is taking place. Now take that feeling of frustration along with here we go again and sprinkle some fear on top of that. It's not exactly what I'd call a winning recipe but more like a recipe for disaster, as now Dez Bryant is dealing with patella tendinitis.

Currently, it's not a nightmare scenario where one or both players will miss a significant period of time, but is this not enough proof that it can become a likely scenario? Isn't this also proof that by having another veteran in the mix it could potentially mitigate this sleeping giant of a problem?

Luckily, for the immediate future, Bryant's injury appears to require rest, but what if it lingers? And how long can these hamstring issues continue to sideline Austin? Initially, Jerry Jones wasn't worried about his hamstring, but now, in a rather  not so shocking turn of events, he's out for the rest of preseason and suddenly Jones has changed his tune.

Is there reason to believe that either of these players will be at full speed come Sept. 5th? 

For now, you can call off the dogs, but the Cowboys realize they will need both of these players in order for their offense to function at maximum capacity. The Cowboys will be depending on Bryant and Austin if they are going to be able to handle the type of schedule that lies ahead.

If you look at the positive, it's easy to just think of the amount of work the younger receivers will now get in their absence. But the reality is that two starting receivers are now injured.  

They aren't just typical players, as both are gifted athletes who possess that rare combination of size, strength and speed.

For Austin, his situation is ironic considering that he got his chance after Roy Williams was injured in 2009, and there was no looking back. For Bryant, he's looking to take a lights-out training camp and parlay that into a breakthrough season and dominate. For that to happen, both players need to be on the field together.

The NFL is built around the premise that players get hurt and the next man up gets a chance to make a play and a name for himself. It happens to every team, every year, in every training camp and the Cowboys are no exception.

The NFL is also built around the promises that surround the beginning of a new season and the thought of Bryant and Austin starring in a theatre near you is very appealing to Cowboy fans. 

So with the status surrounding Austin's hamstring and the recent scare to Bryant, is now the time to add that veteran—perhaps Plaxico Burress or a waiver-wire addition? Or is the recent play of Dwayne Harris, Kevin Ogletree, Cole Beasley and the potential of Danny Coale enough to satisfy their needs?

In any event, this situation looks more and more like a one-day-at-a time approach, especially with a roster cutdown looming on August 27th.  

The most important factor for the Cowboys, in light of this situation, will be to value two things—contingencies and the big picture. While it's in their best interest to develop younger receivers and not interfere with their progress, adding a veteran would keep consistent with their goal of doing whatever is necessary to win. And this team needs to win right now.  

When you look at the impact of Austin’s and Bryant's injury trouble during 2011, it wound up having both an adverse and positive impact on the outcome of the season. You cannot find a more appropriate example of this than the missed pass by Romo to a wide-open Austin in the Dec 11 game against the Giants

Was that pass an overthrow or would a healthy and conditioned Austin run under it and run to glory?  That play was the epitome of his season and it turned out to be the beginning of another December swoon for the Cowboys.

By now, we all know how things ended up for the Giants. 

The only positive impact that came out of his injury situation last season was the development of Laurent Robinson. That fact alone is probably the most ironic part, because right now the Cowboys are looking for the 2012 version of Robinson. In fact, they may need to look for more than one.