Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/22/13
With Tony Romo back on the field for the first time since undergoing back surgery in April, the first practice of the Cowboys’ 2013 training camp had all the markings of a feel-good event for the club. But that was before defensive end Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field Sunday afternoon with what the club fears is a season-ending torn Achilles’ tendon. A 2011 third-round pick from Boise State, Crawford suffered the injury in a non-contact drill less than an hour into the first practice of camp. “This is part of our game, but it’s disappointing because Crawford was probably our top young defensive lineman,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. In finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs a third straight season last year, Dallas lost 71 games by starters because of injury. Five defensive starters finished the season on injured reserve, including Church. Now it already looks like the team could be headed toward another injury-plagued season. In addition to Crawford, Dallas is without four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and starting guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings. Bernadeau, who missed all of the offseason workouts because of shoulder surgery, was placed on the physically unable to perform list after hurting a hamstring during the conditioning test Saturday. Joining him on the PUP list was Ratliff, who was set to undergo an MRI after also suffering a hamstring injury during the conditioning test. Dallas placed Livings (foot), guard Ronald Leary (calf) and long snapper L.P. Ladouceur (calf) on the active/non-football injury list. The Cowboys said the injuries to the offensive linemen and Ratliff aren’t serious. But it can’t be good for a team that finished last season ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing to have so many injured guards. And in its move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, Dallas needs Ratliff. “The mindset of our team is to put the next guy in there,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Injuries provide opportunities for players. It’s July 21. We have a long way to go.” With Bernadeau and Livings out, first-round center Travis Frederick and former starting center Phil Costa saw time at guard.
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