FRISCO, Texas — The injury bug struck in an impactful way in Dallas' second preseason matchup against the Seattle Seahawks as the team lost two standout rookies for the season to torn ACLs in addition to having to handle setbacks with a handful of other depth players.
The headline injury was undoubtedly rookie linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, who tore his left ACL after having a huge training camp that had him in a firm position to not only take on a big role on special teams but as well as on the defensive side of the ball in the second level.
"He has been, frankly, you can make the argument, the star of the rookie class," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "He has stood out from the first time we got in the meeting room. You could see his ability right away. Obviously, you feel terrible for the young man."
In addition to Overshown's season-ending injury, Malik Jefferson is also battling an injury from the preseason opener that is trending towards keeping him out for the preseason finale. With depth already thin at linebacker, the opportunity to step up becomes even more important for other guys in the room as they push further into the preseason and into the regular season.
"This is a great opportunity for Devin Harper and Jabril Cox and Tyrus Wheat," McCarthy said. "This is how this league goes. You only have so many reps in a game and when someone does go down, it's more opportunities for other players."
Rookie undrafted free agent tight end John Stephens Jr. was also hit with a torn left ACL on a third down play where he got his left leg caught around a teammate while trying to release off the line. It especially dampens the mood with Stephens because of the stellar training camp that he had put together in Oxnard.
"They both have done so much in a short period of time of being here," McCarthy said. "We've just got to make sure we keep our arms around both young men and support them and make this opportunity in the long run be an experience they can gain and grow in other areas."
Offensive tackle Matt Waletzko also left Saturday's contest with a shoulder injury, and even though there was some initial concern after battling a shoulder issue for most of the 2022 campaign, the worry this time around doesn't sound to be as serious.
"I think Waletzko, we're going to see if he can do something tomorrow," McCarthy said. "So he has a chance this week but we'll see what tomorrow and Wednesday brings."
In Monday's press conference, McCarthy also mentioned that running back Ronald Jones will "be challenged to be ready this week" as he recovers from a groin injury suffered earlier in training camp.
The Cowboys will wrap up their preseason slate at home on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. CST against the Las Vegas Raiders.