GLENDALE, Ariz. – The final score doesn't matter, but the Cowboys took a bit of a loss on the injury front.
Long before the final whistle on Friday night, they had been dealt blows to five players – most notably, projected starter Neville Gallimore.
Gallimore left the game with what has been reported as a hyperextension of his left arm during the first defensive series of the game and did not return. The second-year defensive tackle is slated to undergo an MRI on Saturday when the team returns home to Texas, where the severity of the problem will be further evaluated.
"I'd put it in the category of significant, but really until we got all the scans we won't diagnose it, so I don't have a timeline," said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy.
The loss of Gallimore was the biggest injury of the night – particularly at a defensive tackle spot that isn't strong on depth. And while the severity of the injury isn't confirmed, McCarthy didn't shy away from the disheartening nature of it.
"You talk about players taking a second-year jump, he definitely illustrated that," he said. "He had a great offseason and was having a great camp, it was just unfortunate."
The setbacks didn't end there, unfortunately. The Cowboys saw two more injuries on offense in the first half, as second-year tight end Sean McKeon left the game with an ankle injury and veteran offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe exited with a knee injury.
Given that the goal of preseason is to find meaningful reps for as many players as possible, McCarthy said the injuries were unfortunate for both the building cohesion of the team as well as the players themselves.
"Any time you have that many injuries, it disrupts everything and you feel terrible for the individual," he said. "That's, to me, always the priority of preseason games. Because if you practice every day together and play in these games together, your team will improve. So it's just unfortunate.
The Cowboys have had good luck with injuries to this point in camp, so it was jarring to see so many in one night. Later on in the game, undrafted rookie linebacker Anthony Hines and fourth-year wide receiver Malik Turner also suffered injuries that took them out of the game.
Fortunately, there's a bit of a break coming. The team is off of practice this weekend before an evening practice on Monday, so there'll be plenty of time to assess each situation. For now, the hope is that this rash of injuries isn't too severe.