Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/8/11
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett might want to check his ankles for puncture wounds. It's starting to look like he and the Cowboys are snakebit when it comes to injuries. Early in the season the issue was receivers. In the opener against the Jets, Dez Bryant got off to a brilliant start, only to sustain a thigh bruise that would cause him to miss the next game and affect his play in other games. The Cowboys also lost Miles Austin for a couple of games to hamstring pull. Guess who pulled another hamstring the other hamstring on Sunday against the Seahawks? Austin won't be seen again until December, most likely. There have also been injury issues with the offensive line, which may have contributed to the early struggles of the running game. Kyle Kosier has been playing on a bad foot all season. Now that the running game is going, the receiving corps took a hit with Austin's injury. The defensive side has also been saddled with injuries, especially in the secondary. Terence Newman got a late start to the season thanks to a groin issue. Orlando Scandrick went down with an ankle for a while. Mike Jenkins played banged up until he went out a week ago with a pulled hamstring. The defense also lost playmaking linebacker Sean Lee to a wrist injury a week ago against Philadelphia. The special teams haven't been immune to the injury bug. Punter Mat McBriar missed part of the Eagles game and all of the Seattle game with a foot problem. Kickoff specialist David Buehler just returned from a groin injury. The Cowboys had to add an extra punter to the roster to account for McBriar's absence. That means they are carrying two kickers and two punters. That's two more specialists than most teams have. Of course, sometimes injuries have a silver lining. If starting running back Felix Jones doesn't injure an ankle, we might not know yet what a talent the Cowboys have in rookie DeMarco Murray. All Murray did in his first full game was break the franchise's single-game rushing record. Murray has put together two more impressive performances since then and there may be a riot at Cowboys Stadium if Jones returns and hogs most of the carries. It's similar two years ago when former receiver Roy Williams went down with an injury, opening the door for Austin to have a dazzling performance against the Chiefs, including catching the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime. All NFL teams deal with injuries. The good ones have the depth and confidence to overcome them. It's rare for a team to go through a season relatively injury-free. Yes, a rash of injuries can scuttle a team's playoff aspirations. We're not at that point yet with the Cowboys. They are 4-4 and in the soft part of their schedule. They can beat teams like the Rams and the Seahawks with missing parts. But it would be nice to see the Cowboys play with all their parts in working order, just to see what they are capable of. The Cowboys have contended with teams who have better records like the 5-3 Patriots and Jets and the 6-2 Lions. They've beaten the 7-1 49ers. Avoiding injuries can help a team get to the Super Bowl. That's where luck comes into play. In the first half of the season, the Cowboys have had plenty of luck the bad kind. Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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