FRISCO, Texas - Though the Cowboys pulled out the win in dramatic fashion over the Texans on Sunday, it did come at a steep price on the injury front. While Monday brought some exciting news in the form of the Cowboys signing free agent wide receiver T.Y Hilton, it also came with a hard dose of reality with the news of right tackle Terence Steele being lost for the season with an ACL tear.
Head coach Mike McCarthy was fairly solemn when asked about the loss of Steele, while also saying the plan is to work the rotation between Ball and Peters. With Steele now gone, the Cowboys have a couple of options they could potentially go with at the tackle spot. Former All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters stepped in on Sunday late in the game after Josh Ball got a brief run at it.
"Terence Steele is just a rock of a man," McCarthy said. "He's been so consistent and obviously it's going to be a loss for us. I just can't say enough about him as a person, his work ethic, and the way he goes about it. A true pro, very mature beyond his years."
Between Ball and Peters vying for time at right tackle, a position the latter has not played since 2005, and the impending return of another All-Pro left tackle in Tyron Smith, the Cowboys could stand to have three future Hall of Famers the rest of the way with right guard Zack Martin as they continue to "work the rotation" this week as McCarthy said.
McCarthy also felt that Ball played well in his limited time on Sunday outside of two plays, one of which helped aid Dak Prescott's second interception of the game in the fourth quarter, while characterizing Peters as someone who is "ready to go" when asked if there were any concerns with his ability to handle an increased workload.
Here is the rest of what McCarthy had to say on the injury front:
- Defensive end Dorance Armstrong injured his ankle on the Texans' hail mary attempt that was intercepted by Trevon Diggs, leaving the former in a walking boot after the game. McCarthy said that while there is no real timeline for Armstrong, he did say there is "definitely" a chance the edge rusher plays Sunday against the Jaguars.
- Another injury on the defensive line came earlier in the game when defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins left midway through the second quarter with what McCarthy called a "significant" shoulder sprain and did not have an update on if the run-stopper could be available this Sunday as he continues to be evaluated.
- Tight end Jake Ferguson suffered a head/neck injury in that win against the Texans, however McCarthy said it was "too early to tell" if the rookie would play in Week 15.