Somewhat dimming the euphoria of the Dallas Cowboys’ 29-23 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday were injuries to safety Barry Church and cornerback Morris Claiborne, sidelining both for a few weeks.
Church suffered a broken forearm and will be out 3-5 weeks. The good news is that he will not need surgery.
“The initial determination is not to do surgery on it, because of the nature of the injury,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s not going to be able to play this week and might be out for an extended period of time, but we’ll see how it goes each day.”
Claiborne’s situation is a little trickier. He was initially diagnosed with a groin injury, but the Cowboys fear it may be a sports hernia.
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If it’s the latter, Claiborne might need surgery.
“I think they’re still determining that,” Garrett said. “That was the language that they were using. So we do think he’ll be out for a little bit as Barry will be out a little bit. We don’t know that he’s going to have surgery. They’re still determining the course of action.”
J.J. Wilcox will likely replace Church at safety alongside Byron Jones.
Orlando Scandrick will move back into the starting lineup at cornerback in place of Claiborne, who seized the job when Scandrick was out for four games with hamstring injuries in both legs.
Injured quarterback Tony Romo is getting better, but he’s still not ready to play football, Garrett said.
Romo has missed the first seven games of the season with a broken bone in his back.
And while the bone has healed, allowing him to start throwing in practice on a limited basis, Garrett said Romo still has to strengthen his major muscles and his conditioning before he can be cleared to return to action.
The core is acute for Romo because of the back surgeries he had a few years ago. He was set back in his core workouts with the broken bone when he wasn’t able to do anything.
Romo did similar things in practice this week as he did last week when he participated in 7-on-7, threw individual drills and did some scout team work, all in a controlled setting.
“Probably similar to last week,” Garrett said of Romo’s workload. “Again, take it day by day and see how he can handle the work.”
Garrett had a small cut on his forehead and a scratch down his right cheek Monday.
He nonetheless was feeling just fine after the Cowboys’ victory over the Eagles.
“I think I got it from [Jason] Witten,” Garrett said. “We all kind of were excited after he scored that touchdown. We all were running around out there. I gave him a big hug, and I forgot that he had a helmet on. I caught my face on the side of his helmet.”
Garrett jokingly was asked if he would fine Witten, who scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
“No,” he chuckled. “Are you kidding me?!”
Charean Williams contributed to this report.