Cowboys Executive V.P. Stephen Jones sees injuries as the biggest reason his team failed to make the playoffs last season. And he sees plenty of reasons to believe the 2013 team will be healthier, and therefore better.
Jones said on 105.3 The Fan that the Cowboys have revitalized the way they’ll deal with injuries, and that will be the key to being a better team.
“Obviously, we got our eyes on not only getting them healthy but keeping them healthy,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “We got some good ideas on that in terms of how we’re going to manage different players. I’ve said from the beginning, the best way we can improve upon our football team from last year is keep guys healthy. That had to be one of our toughest years in terms of the number of injuries, especially to really good football players. If we can really do a better job there then I like our chances of making some significant improvements on 8-8.”
Jones has a point: According to FootballOutsiders.com, which charts how many player-games teams lose to injuries, only four teams in the NFL were hit harder by injuries than the Cowboys were last season. It’s fair to say injuries were a part of the problem in Dallas last season, and whether the “good ideas” the Cowboys are implementing work or not, they probably won’t have such tough luck with injuries again this year.
On the other hand, injuries are a fact of life in the NFL, and they’re a fact that teams have to overcome. Three of the four teams whose players missed more time with injuries than the Cowboys — the Redskins, Colts and Packers — made the playoffs anyway.
So the Cowboys need to find a way to make those “significant improvements” in 2013, whether they’re hit hard by the injury bug or not.