For the Dallas Cowboys, and any team heading into the playoffs, health will decide their fate.
It’s why although they understand the need to re-establish momentum after losing it to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, the Cowboys are keenly aware of the dangers that await them in the regular season finale against the New York Giants. It’s an inconsequential game, thanks to Dallas having clinched the NFC East with their 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but resting on their laurels could be dangerous. This Sunday’s game will need to be managed very carefully from the Cowboys’ standpoint, mixing in the want of a win with the protection of key players only one week ahead of NFC Wild Card Weekend.
Losing a cornerstone player at this point would be devastating to a potential playoff run, and it’s why owner Jerry Jones has already pulled rank on one All-Pro in particular. Don’t be surprised if you see more ruled out before kickoff, and others scaled back during the game itself, with the goal of both being protection from injury.
For the Giants, it’s ironically the same thought process, but for a very different reason. Already eliminated from playoff contention, they’ll have decisions to make on several stars, and that’s where this week’s injury report comes in for both teams.
Let’s take a look at how both sides are tracking for the final game of the 2018 regular season.