Fullback Tony Fiammetta is likely to miss his second straight game with an unknown illness, delivering another setback to the Cowboys running game.
Fiammetta was considered a key to the team's running success of late and the emergence of rookie DeMarco Murray, who has 601 yards in the four games prior to Sunday's 27-24 overtime victory against the Dolphins.
Murray had just 73 yards on 25 carries with backup tight end John Phillips as the primary lead blocker against the Redskins. Coach Jason Garrett said Phillips did a credible job but he also couldn't deny the difference Fiammetta makes when he is in the game as a true fullback.
The puzzling thing for the Cowboys is that they don't know what's exactly wrong with Fiammetta who has been held out of practice since last week. His symptoms include nausea and sickness when he is working out, Garrett said.
"We do not have an idea," Garrett said. "He’s been sick the last week or so, so we are just kind of attending to those symptoms as much as anything else. We are hopeful he can be around as soon as possible, but we will continue to test him to see how he’s doing to get him back to full strength. "
Asked the origin of the illness, Garrett said the doctors and trainers were stumped. He said the team's entire medical staff as well as specialists have been consulted.
"We are just evaluating the origin of the illness - without getting into too many details about what the different possibilities," Garrett said. "We are just trying to look at it and see why he is feeling sick...just trying to get to the bottom of it."
Garrett said right now there is no timetable for his return, athough the Cowboys are hopeful it’s soon.
"We are treating him like any other injury that we have, trying to get to the bottom of what happened, what we should do about it and hopefully we can get him back sooner rather than later," Garrett said.