Vickers, a fullback in Houston last season, watched the team lose star after star _ defensive end Mario Williams, quarterback Matt Schaub, receiver Andre Johnson _ to a series of lengthy or season-ending injuries. Yet the Texans persevered and won the first division title and playoff game in franchise history. Asked if he’d ever been around a team that lost more key players in one season, Vickers said: “No.”
“Last year in Houston, it seemed like we had somebody go down every week,” Vickers said. “But after a while, we got used to it. When a guy goes down, the next guy steps up and it becomes his job. And you keep on ticking. Everybody’s a starter, man. That’s how you’ve got to prepare.”
Vickers said he shared his experiences today with Cowboys teammates’ to remind them that, at 3-3, there is a lot of season left to salvage without Lee if they do not give in to adversity.
“Absolutely,” Vickers said. “That’s how you know what type of team you’ve got.”
Running back Phillip Tanner, a third-teamer who could start Sunday because of injuries to DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee), agreed with Vickers.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s football. I know that. Sean knows that,” Tanner said of Lee’s injury. “That’s why it’s so important for the next guy behind to be motivated. Sean is such an unselfish player, he’ll in Bruce Carter’s ear, helping Bruce out and monitoring Bruce and Dan (Connor). Those guys can step as if he never left.”
_ Jimmy Burch