Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 8/15/12
OXNARD, Calif. Jason Wittens spleen injury has the Dallas Cowboys scrambling for help at the tight end position while also hoping the All-Pros recovery does not impact his availability for the teams regular-season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 4 against the Giants. In Monday's preseason game at Oakland, the star tight end caught a short pass from pressured quarterback Tony Romo and was immediately tackled violently. Witten was slow to his feet, but returned for the next series and caught a pass for an 8-yard gain. After the game, he talked of the tackle and reported no ill effects and team owner Jerry Jones breathed a sign of relief. I held my breath, Jones said, when I saw Witten take that lick. And now the organization does the same for the all-time great Witten, who in his nine NFL seasons has 696 catches for 7,909 yards and 41 touchdowns. Were told that in the event of an injury like this, shock sets in and a signal of the seriousness of the injury comes only after internal bleeding is discovered. The Cowboys are this morning still running tests on the injury. The immediate hope for Witten an NFL tough guy who has missed one game in his career and has played with a broken jaw is that his spleen is not ruptured. Witten will almost certainly miss the remainder of the preseason, and with backup tight end John Phillips working to recover from an ankle injury, the Cowboys are thin at the position. Rookie James Hanna has performed well at camp. Andrew Szczerba is the other tight end on the roster. Therefore, the Cowboys have signed Harry Flaherty, a 23-year-old street free agent who, as ESPN reports, is the nephew of head coach Jason Garrett. Flaherty played at Princeton (as did Garrett) and has been in the Cowboys and Saints camps. The team could release injured backup offensive lineman Bill Nagy or a bottom-of-the-roster player to make room.
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