Starting Cowboys DB Out 4-6 Weeks with High-Ankle Sprain: Report

Jeff Heath (No. 38)

Getty Jeff Heath (No. 38)

The injury bug doesn’t discriminate.

After claiming Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (meniscus), it turned its attention to the defense, taking safety Xavier Woods out of commission.

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Woods will miss 4-6 weeks with a high-ankle sprain sustained in the team’s Week 2 win over the Redskins.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Woods’ injury but wouldn’t put a timeframe on his return.

“He’ll be evaluated as the week goes along,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday.

Selected in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL draft, Woods is in his second season as Dallas’ starting free safety opposite Jeff Heath. He recorded 13 tackles and a forced fumble through two games.

Assuming Pelissero’s information is correct, Woods will be sidelined for games against the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and New York Jets. A six-week absence would mean he likely returns on Nov. 10 versus Minnesota.

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Woods’ Replacement

A healthy scratch in Week 2, veteran reserve Darian Thompson is expected to replace Woods in the lineup Sunday against the Dolphins — his first start since signing with the Cowboys. It’s possible the team also activates sixth-round rookie S Donovan Wilson to work behind Kavon Frazier.

Thompson made 10 appearances for Dallas last year, operating primarily on special teams. He was a 16-game starter for the Giants in 2017 and logged 75 tackles, six pass deflections and an interception.

In out-of-house options, the Cowboys reportedly are hosting free agent S Josh Jones on Tuesday. A 2017 second-round selection of the Packers, Jones appeared in 13 games last season, starting five, and delivered 40 tackles, two pass breakups and a sack.

Cautious Optimism

The reason Jones wouldn’t nail down a timetable for Woods is that it may have been overinflated by national media folk like Pelissero who broke the news. He told 105.3 The Fan that “only the guy upstairs really knows how much time he’ll miss.”

The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore and Maven Sports’ Mike Fisher both intimated that Woods is truly week-to-week rather than definitively shelved for the next month-plus.

READ NEXT: Cowboys’ Michael Gallup Tears Knee Ligament on Week 2 Grab [WATCH]

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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