Cowboys vs. Giants: Should Dallas Let Jason Witten Sign Medical Waiver?

Andrew BurtonCorrespondent IIISeptember 5, 2012

Jason Witten is persistent on returning tonight against the New York Giants.
Jason Witten is persistent on returning tonight against the New York Giants.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Apparently, the rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants is as exciting for fans as it is for players. According to an article by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Jason Witten has informed the Cowboys that he is willing to sign a medical waiver to play in tonight's NFC East showdown—but should Dallas take this risk? 

The Cowboys' tight end suffered an injury during the first preseason game to his spleen, which caused internal bleeding. If he were to play in tonight's game, he would be at risk of re-injury, and the Dallas Cowboys cannot afford that—even if they're a better team with him in the lineup than they are without him.

The question Cowboys staff members have to ask themselves is, will we benefit more having Witten back a week earlier and being at risk, or save him for next week and be on track to have a successful remaining 15 games?

Unfortunately, Dallas should just let Jason sit another week. 

It's too big of a risk to have the tight end play on such short notice without any preseason action. Resting him till Week 2 would give Witten another week to strengthen.

A spleen injury causing internal bleeding can be fatal, and that's certainly not a price The Boys want to pay. Coming back early from this significant injury will only hurt the team in the long run—not to mention this one game against the New York Giants is not going to dictate how the rest of the season will pan out. 

Also, this game isn't the only time Dallas and New York will square off. The Giants will visit Dallas at Cowboys' Stadium in Week 8. 

Witten is a big part of the Dallas offense, and having him lined up in the tight end position significantly benefits them. Defenders are more focused on threats like Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, so they forget about Witten, or if they are on the tight end, one of the wide receivers should have one-on-one coverage and make them pay.

Last season, the tight end was on the receiving end of 79 passes for a total of 942 yards. It's obvious that Dallas benefits from having him lined up on the offensive line, but it's just too risky to throw him in a game against the Super Bowl champions nonetheless.

It's evident that he's a critical part of their offensive game, but it's also evident that the dangers outweigh the rewards.