Injured Cowboys face Redskins

The Cowboys are besieged by injuries heading into the Week 3 matchup against the Redskins set for Monday night.

Quarterback Tony Romo has garnered much of the headlines because of a fractured rib and punctured lung.

But wide receiver Miles Austin could be out with a hamstring injury, center Phil Costa has a sprained knee, running back Felix Jones has a dislocated shoulder, tight end Jason Witten has bruised ribs, receiver Dez Bryant has a deep thigh bruise and cornerback Mike Jenkins continues to nurse knee and neck injuries.

Of course that list doesn't include cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who is out three weeks with a high ankle sprain.

The situation is so acute that coach Jason Garrett gave the team an extra day off this week leading up to the Redskins game.

They took Tuesday and Wednesday off and planned to start the work week Thursday.

Garrett said his team has done a good job of moving forward and embracing the opportunities whether they are a starter or a backup.

"It's just reality in the NFL," Garrett said. "Injuries are part of the game and not having guys available is just part of the game, and we feel like when we cut down a roster to 53 guys and activate 46 each week we feel like every guy is capable and every guy needs to be ready to play if that opportunity presents itself.

"That's something we preach to our guys all the time because we know that it's real. It's real for us, it's real for 32 teams around the NFL. Players understand that. Hopefully, they understand it during the week in preparing for the ball game, whatever their role is, and then be ready for an expanded role if that circumstance arises."

Romo is the biggest issue in Dallas. The Cowboys continue to hope he will play against the Redskins on Monday night because of his ability to return to the game against the 49ers in the fourth quarter and lead the team to the comeback victory. But they will continue to evaluate him throughout the week. The Cowboys expect the small puncture in his leg to resolve quickly, certainly sufficiently enough for him to play. It really is a matter of how much pain Romo will be able to deal with.

While Garrett said he doesn't see any reason why Romo wouldn't play, owner Jerry Jones was a bit more conservative.

"I don't know," Jones said. "I really don't. I understand the nature of the injury as much as you can without being in medicine. We'll just have to see how it goes. It has everything to do with just his ability to handle the pain, and we know he has a bunch of it."

The only players likely to be sidelined against the Redkins are Austin and Costa, who both could miss the next two games and not return until after the bye week.

The good news is, cornerback Terence Newman is expected to return Sunday after missing the first two games and the entire preseason with a groin injury.

SERIES HISTORY: 101st regular-season meeting. Cowboys leads series, 60-38-2. Dallas has won four of the last five meetings. The Cowboys won the last meeting 33-30.

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