The Dallas Cowboys have been beset by injuries through a month of training camp, but nothing as bizarre as the situation with offensive tackle Darrion Weems, who missed practice Sunday after dropping a bench press bar on his chest.
“He was lifting weights, and he dropped the 325-pound bench press bar on his chest,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “So that’s what he is dealing with right now. He has a thumb issue where he can’t put his thumb around the bar, so it’s kind of an open hand and the thing just kind of rolled off on him. We will see how he is day to day. We don’t think he is going to practice today.”
And not for a few days.
“I was in there trying to get work done,” Weems said. “It slipped out on me. I’ll be all right. But it’s a lot of weight falling on you. It hurt a little bit.”
The injury could have been far worse. Former Southern Cal running back Stafon Johnson nearly died in a weightlifting accident. He needed several surgeries after a dropped bar ruptured Johnson’s larynx.
“I’ve certainly seen it before in the weight room,” Garrett said. “Sometimes that happens or sometimes they have to throw the weight off of one side or throw the weight off the other side or whatever.”
In his corner
Count quarterback Tony Romo as one of the people rookie cornerback B.W. Webb sought advice from after his bad outing in the 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders last Friday.
He gave up six catches for 65 yards and fumbled a punt that led to the game-deciding score.
Jason Garrett was critical of Webb’s demeanor and confidence in the game, and the rookie fourth-round pick acknowledged that he let his poor play at cornerback bleed into the fumbled punt.
“I guess I thought about my bad plays too much,” Webb said. “I didn’t really put them behind me. In this league, you have to put those in your back pocket and keep going.”
Webb said he talked to a few people after the game for advice, including cornerback Brandon Carr and secondary coach Jerome Henderson. He also approached the veteran quarterback for his perspective.
“His position is crazy and you have your up and down games,” Webb said. “He really told me you got to be able to put that in the past. He told me he messes up at times and coaches jump him and it’s on to the next play, just getting that perspective, especially from him.”
In two games, Webb has played 108 plays. He has been targeted 13 times, giving up 10 catches for 94 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Cowboys have high hopes for tight end Gavin Escobar, who they selected in the second round.
He has one catch for 3 yards in two preseason games and he has struggled as a blocker.
The Cowboys remain patient.
“He’s developing,” Jason Garrett said. “He’s a natural pass catcher. He can run routes and get away from people. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities in games to do that up to this point.
“The thing where he’s getting better and better is blocking, both as a run blocker and as a pass protector. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there in any facet of the game, and that’s a good sign.”
Escobar insists he is not frustrated by the lack of opportunities or his struggles as a blocker. He said he has improved and will continue to improve the more reps he gets.
“It definitely has improved since OTAs, training camp and from training camp to now,” Escobar said. “I work on it every day and try and take pride in it. It’s definitely gotten better. But you’ve always got to improve.”