The Cowboys moved Justin Durant to injured reserve Wednesday, signing veteran linebacker Tim Dobbins to the active roster in his place.
The move itself isn’t surprising, as Durant tore his bicep Monday night in the Cowboys’ loss to Washington. The timing was a bit unexpected, however, as Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday morning he was still weighing his options regarding Durant’s status.
"We’re still involved in that process and gathering the information about where he is, how severe the injury is, what the timetable is for the injury," Garrett said.
At this advanced stage in the season, it seemed unlikely that Durant would be available any sooner than Week 17 or potentially a playoff game – if that. Ray Lewis suffered a torn triceps in October of 2012 and wasn’t available for the Ravens until their playoff push.
"Yeah, there have been a couple of guys through the years, Kenny Norton played with it, Ray Lewis had a similar injury," Garrett said Tuesday evening. "It’s a serious injury, there’s no question about that, but we’ll sort out how much time is left in the season and what the options are. No reason to make any rash judgment right now."
The Cowboys have clearly made that call, however, and Dobbins enters as a veteran option at the position. A fifth-round pick out of Iowa State in 2006, Dobbins has played eight seasons with three teams: San Diego, Miami and Houston. His most recent stint came with the Atlanta Falcons, but he was cut at the conclusion of training camp this past summer.
His best season came in 2010 with the Miami Dolphins, when he notched six starts and made 47 tackles in 16 total appearances on the year.
Dobbins provides the Cowboys with another option as a fill-in for Durant, along with Bruce Carter, Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber. Rolando McClain figures to remain at middle linebacker, though he was absent from Wednesday’s practice — an unexpected development.
Following Durant’s injury Monday night, Dallas shifted Carter to his weak side position and inserted Wilber as the team’s strong side linebacker. It remains to be seen which starting trio they’ll go with Sunday against Arizona.
"Wilber went in the game last night, Bruce went over the will linebacker spot. Hitchens played both the Will linebacker and the Mike linebacker spot. We’ll see," Garrett said Tuesday evening. "We’ll have some discussions about it today and plan accordingly in practice."