Cowboys’ 5-Time Pro Bowler Needs Surprising Surgery: Report

The Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore (left) will need shoulder surgery this week.

Getty The Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore (left) will need shoulder surgery this week.

Give credit to the Cowboys’ Stephon Gilmore. He tried. Turns out, perhaps, he should not have played on Sunday in the blowout loss to the Packers that ended the Dallas Cowboys’ season in disastrous fashion, but he showed more guts than many of his teammates. Trouble is, now Gilmore needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in the injured shoulder that limited him in practice ahead of the postseason game.

Gilmore did not want to let the injury keep him from helping the team on a Super Bowl run. Instead, the injury helped end the Cowboys season and will need a surprising surgery that should, according to the Dallas Morning News, happen this week.

It’s surprising that Gilmore, who is 33 and just wrapped up his 12th NFL season, needs surgery on the shoulder—or, rather, it is surprising that he tried to play with a shoulder that was so injured. But the five-time Pro Bowler knows he does not have many more chances at winning a Super Bowl (he won one in New England in 2018) and did not want to shortchange himself.

“I’m going on towards the end,” Gilmore said, per the Morning News. “I tried to give it all I’ve got. I still felt like I could play. Tried to give it a go. Got to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Cowboys Stephon Gilmore Struggled vs. Packers

The problem is that Gilmore, who was very good all season and helped the Cowboys overcome the loss of star corner Trevon Diggs to ACL surgery, struggled mightily against the Packers. The numbers at Pro Football Focus show that Jordan Love threw at the man Gilmore was covering four times, and completed all four passes.

One went for a touchdown, to Dontayvion Wicks. The average pass at Gilmore yielded 20.3 yards. Love had a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Gilmore.

“They were hot and we wasn’t able to stop them especially on the defensive side. We wasn’t able to get into a rhythm. I think they only punted one time. That’s ultimately what it came down to,” Gilmore said in his postgame meeting with the media.

“They was running the ball, they got into short yardage. They were able to pass the ball here and there and we just couldn’t get into rhythm. We didn’t force no turnovers and they just played well today.”

Future Up in the Air After Surgery

Gilmore had high praise for Love, who has gotten better as the Packers’ season went on. The Cowboys secondary had few answers for them, and the shoulder injury for Gilmore did not much anything.

“He’s a good quarterback, they got in this position for a reason,” Gilmore said. “But they got in a bunch of 12 personnel and ran the ball a little bit and play-action-passed it. Just couldn’t get in a rhythm. We just had to play better and in the playoffs, if you don’t do that, that’s the results you get.”

What’s uncertain for Gilmore is the extent to which playing through the shoulder injury and putting off surgery could hurt his offseason prospects. He is a free agent and wants to play again in 2024. But he figures to need as much as six months to come back from the surgery.

He could re-sign with the Cowboys. He could go elsewhere. But teams figure to be cautious of a surgically repairs corner in his 30s. In the meantime, Gilmore is still getting over his shock from the loss.

“I’m surprised, I didn’t see this coming,” Gilmore said. “I’m very surprised because I know what type of team we have but in the playoffs you gotta prove it. You can’t have no down days. That’s how the game goes.”

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