What does Lance Dunbar's injury on Thursday mean for the 'Boys and his future here as a whole?
Rowan: I don't think it means much in terms of his future with the team (he's signed through the 2014 season), but it's a dagger for Dunbar and the running game. The combo of DeMarco Murray and Dunbar against the Raiders was the best 1-2 punch we've seen for the Cowboys for a while, and it makes you wonder why it couldn't be utilized better earlier in the year. Murray's power near the line combined with Dunbar's quickness and straight-line speed had the Raiders off balance all game. I'm not sure there's another backup running back on the team who can provide that kind of a spark, but I imagine Joseph Randle will get that opportunity.
David: Now that we've all seen what Dunbar can do in a real-deal game, I'm sure the speculation around him in the offseason and heading into training camp will only get larger. He's valuable, and the Cowboys doubtless will be hoping he can make an effective recovery. I don't think I'd be surprised to see them use another late-round draft pick on a running back, though. In the meantime, hopefully Randle will take advantage of the smaller depth chart and catch some eyes in these last few weeks.
What are some of the timelines for some of our injured players to return, i.e.: Sean Lee, DeVonte Hollman, Dwayne Harris, Mo Claiborne? We need all of them to make a good run in December.
Rowan:I wouldn't be surprised at this point to see any or all of them back at some point this week. We're talking about hamstring injuries for three of the four of those players (Justin Durant, as well), which can be tricky to diagnose. [embedded_ad] Even when a player thinks he's ready to return from that kind of an injury, he may not actually be ready and a setback is possible. I think the plan in keeping those guys out was to hopefully have them back for Monday in Chicago. We'll know more by Wednesday's practice. The one guy I'm not sure of in that group is Holloman, whose neck injury hasn't allowed him to go all out full-time in more than a month.
David: By the time the Cowboys take the field in Chicago, it will have been a month since Lee injured his hamstring in New Orleans. Barring some kind of setback, I imagine he will play. Even though it happened two games ago, it's actually only been about a week since Harris and Claiborne aggravated their hamstrings in New York. I feel much less confident about their chances against the Bears, though I imagined they'd be back for Green Bay at the worst. Holloman is pretty much the great unknown, as Rowan said. The fact that he hasn't been sent to IR, though, seems like a good sign that the team thinks he can suit up again before the season ends.