FRISCO, Texas – A season-opening loss is bad enough in its own right. The taste feels even more bitter in light of the damage that's been done to the Cowboys' roster.
The team seemed to suffer three injuries during Sunday night's 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. All of them seem to be severe, and all of them happened to key players.
For starters, Leighton Vander Esch was lost during the first quarter with a collarbone injury. The third-year linebacker was seen getting examined on the sideline before heading into the locker room for X-Rays.
The expectation is that Vander Esch is going to miss some time, though the plan of action is yet to be determined. If there's a silver lining, it's that the problem doesn't seem to be related to the neck injury that knocked him out of the second half of last season.
"I know how it feels to be injured, to suffer an injury. I don't wish that on anyone," said Jaylon Smith after the game. "So it's definitely tough, but I know Leighton is a strong guy with a strong mind and a good support system. So he's going to come back strong."
From there, the Cowboys' offense suffered back-to-back blows in the form of knee injuries. Cam Erving was rolled up during a Dallas field goal attempt and had to be helped to the locker room. The veteran offensive lineman is still being evaluated but is expected to miss some time.
Arguably the most devastating loss is that of Blake Jarwin. Tabbed as the Cowboys' new starting tight end at the outset of the offseason, Jarwin caught just one ball on the night before suffering a scary non-contact injury.
Jarwin was coming out of a break when his knee simply seemed to buckle. After getting off the turf, he exited the game and didn't return.
As might be expected with a non-contact knee injury, the fear is that the fourth-year veteran tore his ACL. Jarwin will undergo tests when he returns to Dallas, but the fear is his season might be done.
Dak Prescott didn't want to comment prematurely on the severity, but he offered words of encouragement when asked about Jarwin's injury.
"I know he's a great asset to this offense," he said. "Would hate to lose him for the rest of the year if that's the case, but my prayers and best wishes are for Blake."