OXNARD, Calif. – Chris Whaley is on his way back to Dallas after suffering a torn Achilles on Monday evening.
Whaley was carted off the field in the middle of the Cowboys' Monday practice, causing concern that the team had suffered its first major injury of training camp. Those concerns have been confirmed.
It's a particularly tough blow for Whaley, who missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL. The Texas standout tore that tendon during his senior season with the Longhorns, and the Cowboys put him through a "redshirt" season of sorts after signing him as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2013.
It wasn't necessarily a guarantee that Whaley would crack the 53-man roster, but the Cowboys were excited about what he might bring to the table in Rod Marinelli's defensive scheme – particularly as the ever-important three-technique defensive tackle.
The loss leaves the Cowboys with Tyrone Crawford, Terrell McClain, Nick Hayden, Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop as the remaining defensive tackles on the roster. McClain and Hayden are coping with minor injuries, which leaves them slightly short on depth at the position -- though the defensive coaches have been experimenting with the likes of Jack Crawford and Ryan Russell on the inside.
It remains to be seen if they'll address the position in free agency.