NFL

Dallas Cowboys under covid 19 threat as Damonte Kazee asked to stay away.

Owner Jerry Jones stands tall in the face of growing problem.

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Dallas Cowboys under covid 19 threat as Damonte Kazee asked to stay away.
TOM PENNINGTON AFP

The war against COVID 19 has been a long and arduous one and sadly it seems to be clearer each day that things will get worse before they get better.

COVID 19 proves a tough opponent, again

Though the NFL must be commended for its valiant efforts in its vaccine drive against COVID-19, the sad truth is that the virus is mounting a comeback.  Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, the comeback is hitting especially hard.

Just days after losing safeties Malik Hooker and Israel Mukuamu to the team’s COVID/Reserve list, fellow safety Damontae Kazee was told by the club to stay away from the training facilities pending further COVID evaluation. Additionally Donovan Wilson was escorted off the field by a Cowboys trainer at the start of the day’s practice session. That brings the total to 4 players from a positional group that was arguably the Achilles heel for the Cowboys last season. The bad news comes on the back of statements made by team owner, Jerry Jones who gave his opinion on Dallas radio emphasizing the importance of vaccinations among his players, coaches, and team staffers.

“Everyone has a right to make their own decisions regarding their health and their body. I believe in that completely, until your decision as to yourself impacts negatively many others,” Jones said, "Then the common good takes over.”

Some things don't add up

To make matters murkier, head coach Mike McCarthy stated during a Q&A with the media on Tuesday that the Cowboys would not be adding any players to the COVID list that already includes Hooker, Mukuamu, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.  What then can be made of the scenarios where Kazee was told to stay away, and Wilson who was pulled from the practice field?

In light of this some team wide meetings have been canceled to reduce numbers while practice sessions have been taking place on the outdoor fields at The Star.

The situation right now

As per NFL policy, "A vaccinated person who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate until they have tested negative on consecutive PCR tests, 24 hours apart. Should the person develop COVID-19 symptoms, they must also be asymptomatic for 48 hours. An un-vaccinated person must isolate for 10 days after testing positive. A vaccinated person exposed to COVID-19 in close contact must test negative for eight days but can be present if asymptomatic. An un-vaccinated player exposed to COVID-19 as a high-risk close contact must remain isolated for five days regardless of test status.”

This places the Cowboys in a precarious position as was also stated by head coach, Mike McCarthy who made it clear that there is no time frame for the return of those on the COVID 19 list.  Though the situation is serious, all is not doom and gloom. On Saturday, the Cowboys declared that 93% of the team’s players were at least partially vaccinated. Among coaches, that number was 100%.

McCarthy & Jones united in their Stance

“We’re just being cautious and want to make sure we contain this outbreak and just be smart with that,” McCarthy said earlier this week. “We all have clear understanding what the state of what we’re in. We’re by no means clear of what went on last year.”

As for owner, Jerry Jones, he doubled down in his radio interview, giving an opinion that is now trending across social media, “I’m arm-waving here, but that has everything to do with the way I look at our team, the Cowboys, or the way I look at our society,” Jones said of vaccinations. “We have got to check ‘I’ at the door and go forward with ‘we.’ Your Dallas Cowboys are doing that.”