FRISCO, TX — The ship was righted in Week 4 when the Dallas Cowboys demolished Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, moving to 3-1 on the season as they turn their eyes to an all-important clash with the San Francisco 49ers — health being key for the Cowboys chances in Santa Clara this coming weekend.
Rico Dowdle exited the matchup against the Patriots in the third quarter with a hip injury and did not return, but X-rays were negative and after undergoing an MRI on Monday, he's listed as having suffered a hip contusion. That would mean it's not the worst-case scenario for the veteran running back, who lost the entirety of his 2021 season to a hip injury.
There are other injuries to keep an eye on this week as well, with Zack Martin (quad) and Micah Parsons (knee, ankle) also getting banged up a bit, but there's optimism regarding all three players.
Dowdle and Martin will participate with the rehab group once practice resumes on Wednesday, per head coach Mike McCarthy on Monday, and both "have a chance to play" against the 49ers. Parsons is expected to be limited on Wednesday as a precaution, and it's key to note that all three players were moving around well in the post-game locker room.
But what of Tyron Smith?
The eight-time Pro Bowler has now missed the last two games with a knee injury, but McCarthy says Smith is "getting better" and thought he'll be with the rehab group alongside Dowdle and Martin in a couple days, there's an opportunity for him to potentially be a limited participant on Wednesday after having not practiced at all last week.
If Smith can take the field against the 49ers, and assuming Martin does as well (having missed Week 3 against the Cardinals with an ankle injury), it will mark the first time in a very long time that the Cowboys will field their best five offensive linemen.
They'll need all hands on deck for the fight to come.