FRISCO, Texas – The results of two important MRIs have come back, and the news appears to be good for the Cowboys.
Zack Martin was scheduled for an MRI on Sunday after injuring his knee in Saturday night's preseason loss to Cincinnati, and further evaluation has revealed there is no significant damage to his left knee. The Cowboys are optimistic he'll be ready to play in time for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
That is welcome news after a serious scare on Saturday night. Martin stayed down on the AT&T Stadium turf for a long time after taking a low hit from Cincinnati cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and he went to the locker room for a lengthy evaluation before returning to the sideline.
Following the game, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said the early prognosis was good and that he'd "sleep well." It appears that optimism was well-founded.
This is the second injury scare for the Cowboys' vaunted offensive line in the last week – and for the second time it has been followed by good news. During the team's stay in California, Travis Frederick consulted a doctor about repeated stinger issues that he suffered during practice, but the consultation didn't reveal any serious issues.
Losing Martin for an extended period would have been a heavy blow for an offense that is based around its running game. The five-year veteran has been named an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler during every year of his career, and he signed an $84 million contract extension in June.
Elsewhere on the roster, Xavier Woods also underwent an MRI after injuring his hamstring on Saturday night. The second-year safety dove to break up a pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green in the second quarter and had trouble getting up from the play.
The timetable on Woods isn't as clear, but it sounds like he could be out anywhere from two to four weeks. Clearly, that's not great for a Cowboys safety group that's already low on numbers. But for a team that many thought had lost two starters on Saturday night, it could be worse.