The Cowboys’ playoff chances were dealt several blows on Thursday afternoon.
The biggest one was the 38-31 loss to the Redskins that cost them a chance to move within a half-game of the Giants for the NFC East lead heading into New York’s Sunday night date with the Packers. Should the Giants lose that game, the Cowboys would still have a fair shot at making a grab for the division crown although a slew of injuries from Thursday aren’t going to help them.
Inside linebacker Bruce Carter, who has been playing a major role since Sean Lee’s season-ending injury, dislocated his elbow and, according to the Dallas Morning News, the feeling is that he will not return this season. Carter is going to have an MRI on Friday to determine the extent of the damage, but time’s running short on the season for a player with such a potentially serious injury.
There’s a similarly dire prognosis for cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who fractured his hand on Thursday. He’ll also have an MRI to see how bad the injury might be, but Scandrick is already slated for surgery that’s going to make it hard for him to come back. If both Carter and Scandrick are lost for the season, it will make five key members of the Cowboys defense lost for the season thanks to injuries.
Adding to a busy Friday at the MRI tube is wide receiver Miles Austin, who needs to get his strained hip checked out. There’s not indication that he won’t return this season, but optimism is in short supply in Dallas right now.