Rookie tackle Sam Young sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, which will keep him out 3-4 weeks. That means he will be rehabbing for the start of the regular season, leaving the Cowboys with a decision about whether to keep him on the 53-player roster.
Last year, rookie draft picks Mike Hamlin and Jason Williams made the roster despite having injuries that kept them out for the first few games of the regular season.
"It affects how we think about him No. 1, I guess," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips admitted. "And then where are you going offensive line-wise. It affects everything certainly. All those guys injured are guys you wanted to look at or guys you think you knew about what they could do, or can't do, or whether they could help the football team or not, now or in the future. That's part of the analysis."
With tackles Marc Colombo and Alex Barron having been injured during training camp, Young has gotten more playing time than expected. The sixth-round pick from Notre Dame has performed well. A scout from another team who has seen two of the Cowboys' preseason games rated Young as the team's second-best tackle behind Doug Free, excluding Colombo.
There is no doubt the Cowboys are high on him.
"He did fine," Phillips said. "He’s a young guy, but he’s real smart. He doesn’t make any mistakes, and that’s pretty good for young player. It’s kind of like he did in college. He finds a way to get his guy, to block his guy. I’d like to have seen him play more, but it didn’t happen."
-- Charean Williams