The Dallas Cowboys are beginning to see their fare share of training camp injuries as of late. The team got off to a healthy start, with no issues being reported over the first three practices of camp in Oxnard, Calif. on July 26, but have since seen several minor ones sprout up.
The most concerning thus far has been from perennial All-Pro guard Zack Martin, who and will be monitored closely before being allowed to return to practice ahead of Week 1 — assuming the Cowboys don’t simply sideline him completely in August as a precaution. They’re expecting to get Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper — who suffered a minor heel bruise — back at some point this week, but add veteran defensive end Robert Quinn as another player you won’t see over the next few weeks.
Quinn left practice early on Tuesday with what turned out to be a fracture in his left hand, per team exec Stephen Jones, and is heading back to Dallas to undergo surgery. The good news for the team is Jones still expects Quinn to be available when they host the New York Giants on Sept. 8, which is entirely possible.
In the meantime, his absence will give players like Kerry Hyder — another newly-acquired defensive lineman — and several others a shot at truly proving their worth going into final roster cutdowns at the end of the month. All eyes will also peer harder at third-year talent and former first-round pick Taco Charlton, who has been unproductive in his first two seasons and uneven thus far in camp.
A former first-round pick (14th overall) himself of the Los Angeles Rams, Quinn played seven seasons out west before heading to the Miami Dolphins in March 2018 via trade. It was a cap move for the Rams at the time, with Quinn being on the back end of a six-year deal signed in 2014. He’s had his bumps and bruises over the course of his time in the NFL, but has been mostly durable, having been available for fewer than 15 games only twice in his eight-year career. For a more recent scope on his availability, it’s key to note he’s played in 31 of the Dolphins’ last 32 games — a stellar statistic for one of the most bruising positions in the game.
The Cowboys acquired Quinn in a trade with the Dolphins this offseason in exchange for sixth-round pick in 2020.
There’s a bit of underlying concern by the Cowboys on the long-term health of Quinn beyond 2019, and that showed in the lack of an immediate contract extension. All things considered, however, simply agreeing to bring Quinn on for one year sets the team up for instant impact this coming season while also providing insurance in the event Randy Gregory isn’t reinstated for whatever reason. With no contract beyond 2019 in tow, the All-Pro has serious motivation to be an absolute force this coming season, and it helps to have another All-Pro in DeMarcus Lawrence manning the opposite edge.
Quinn will be 30 years old next year, and he knows this could be his last chance to land a hefty contract. His latest injury doesn’t exactly help his case, but it won’t hurt it either if he actually does take the field in Week 1.