We have only completed two weeks of NFL regular season football in 2011 and already the Cowboys' season has been an injury-plagued one.
Dez Bryant is coming off of an injury in 2010 and has been nicked up so far this season, Miles Austin will likely be out until after Dallas' bye week, Tony Romo suffered a broken rib and punctured lung in Week 2 and Felix Jones is dealing with a dislocated left shoulder.
Jones' official status, according to the Cowboys' injury report, is questionable. For me, questionable has two meanings when it comes to Jones this week. He is questionable to be active in their game against the Redskins, and he is questionable to be effective if he does play.
This injury is not something that goes away easily and as long as the Cowboys continue to try to play him, the injury will be a huge concern.
A separated shoulder often happens when a player lands directly on the point of the shoulder. For a running back, it's possible that he lands like that half a dozen times a game.
All injuries need time away from abuse to properly heal, and this injury will not get that time if Jones is on the field.
The right move is to sit Jones down for at least a week, if not two. Each passing week where Jones doesn't get hit will make the shoulder feel exponentially better.
The Cowboys also boast several running backs that could ably fill in for Jones. Rookie DeMarco Murray has the potential to be a star and Tashard Choice has experience in this offense.
For better or worse, the Cowboys' season rests on how much production they get out of their running game. It's not too late to sit Jones down and rest him for the middle of the season, when he should be much healthier.
The other option is trying to push Jones back each week before he's completely ready. All that will lead to is a season's worth of frustration that ends in disappointment.