Your Cowboys news for a Friday, which feels like a Saturday, because its the day before gameday. Today's headlines: neck injury forces DeVonte Holloman to retire; practice developments; defensive linemen recovering from long-term injuries.
I'll let Coach tell it like it is:
"DeVonte got information back from the doctors in San Antonio and some other doctors he visited with regarding his neck and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be able to play football any more," Garrett said. "This becomes an easy decision for him and his family when you’re dealing with that kind of an injury."
Not much new here except for this tidbit, which was enough to generate the headline:
To repair his spine, Holloman would need spinal fusion surgery at the C3-C4 and C4-C5 vertebra levels, a source said.
"That would be too dangerous to try and play with," the source said. "He’s better off not doing it."
In case you were wondering what C3, C4 and C5 represent, here's an image of the cervical vertebrae:
As you can see, the damage is right in the center of Holloman's neck, which, thanks to its curvature, receives a great deal of impact, especially on head-on shots.
Cowboys express Support For LB DeVonte Holloman. "Its Heartbreaking," CB Brandon Carr says - David Moore, DMN
Holloman's teammates express the sentiments we all feel when a promising young man has his lifelong dream curtailed at 23.
Carr believes that Holloman will take the same attitude and work ethic that he displayed at Valley Ranch into "the next chapter.’’ Tight end Jason Witten said Holloman was a young player with a great future.
At least one possible "next chapter" has presented itself:
Just talked to a friend that works with South Carolina and the coaches said they would welcome Holloman as a grad assistant if he wanted to— Ed Cahill (@EdCahill) August 21, 2014
And in the wake of Holloman's injury...
Dallas Cowboys Take a Look at Former TCU Linebacker Jason Phillips - Rainer Sabin, DMN
That headline pretty much says it all.
Oh, and some comparatively benign injury updates courtesy of The Dallas Morning News. The DMN reports that the Cowboys are still baffled by Matt Johnson's prolonged hamstring injuries (after his visit to a back specialist reveals nothing) and Ben Gardner is 100% confident he'll come back from his shoulder injury at full strength. What other percentage should we expect from a semi-divine being chiseled from wurtzite boron nitride?
In related linebacker news...
In the ever-evolving practice availability churn, the Cowboys were Even Steven on Thursday: their quarterback and MLB returned to practice, and two defensive backs - B.W. Webb and Johnny Thomas - were sidelined, Webb with a hip injury that promises to keep him out of of Saturday's game in Miami.
After spending all of training camp at weakside linebacker, Archer writes, the rookie fourth-rounder finds himself competing for the starting job in the middle. And he's being helped by the best: Sean Lee.
Hitchens has a heck of a tutor. He spends "as much time as [he] can" with Lee, who is trying to get the rookie up to speed as quickly as possible in the mental details of playing middle linebacker in this scheme.
"In meetings during camp, he sat right behind me," Hitchens said. "He was always in my ear. I’m looking this way and I just hear him in the back of my head talking to me. He just gives me a little knowledge here and there."
The Broad One concocts a collection of cogitations concerning the current Cowboys. A couple:
Don’t be surprised to see
Zack Martinget his first game action at center against the Dolphins. Martin has been working at the position and looks comfortable enough to see how far he has really come as a possible backup.
Keep an eye on
Caesar Rayfordand the amount of work that he will get in this game. It looks like the coaches have settled on his playing as a three technique instead of trying to move him all over the line. In the times I have seen him play, there has been some nice get off on the ball.
Indeed, this is the key to one of the 53 roster puzzle pieces. At least one aspect of the decision will be easy:
The "who" right now is easy; the job would go to veteran Tyler Clutts. But it is far from a given that the Cowboys will keep a fullback heading into the regular season.
And we wrap up with a pair of good news stories from the defensive line...
As Kavner notes, giving an active roster spot to a player who may not be available for a few games is a risky move.Still, Spencer wants to avois getting "pupped" if at all possible:
"Yeah, I want to be out on the field as soon as possible, and PUP will put me out six weeks," Spencer said. "I haven’t plateaued yet. My body’s responding well to the things that we’re doing, so we’re just going to continue to do them."
Following up on yesterday's feature piece on Okoye, the Morning News publishes a nice interview with the Cowboys' would-be defensive tackle. This on his experience waking up from a 3-month coma:
Okoye: "Well what I remember from that was I was talking to one of the nurses. I was like arguing with her that it was March 15th, and she was like, ‘I’m sorry it’s actually August 7th.’ I didn’t want to believe her. I asked everybody in the room, ‘is it really August 7th,’ and I answered my phone, which I hadn’t seen in forever, and it said August 7th. ‘Wow. It’s really August 7th.’"
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- Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Romo, Bryant, Witten, And Murray To Suit Up Tonight
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- Garrett On Linebackers: "We've Just Got To Figure Out Who The Best Three Guys Are"
- Things To Watch For In Cowboys' Second Pre-Season Game
- Dallas Cowboys Training Camp News: Jason Witten Says "This Was A Big Week" For Tony Romo