The Dallas Cowboys were already thin on defense heading into their Sunday matchup at AT&T Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers, but could now be even thinner, after starting safety Xavier Woods has been forced to leave the game with a chest injury.
The injury happened midway through the third quarter, causing Woods to exit the game in obvious pain. According to the Cowboys, Woods has been ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
Just a few plays later, starting linebacker Vander Esch was also forced to leave the game with an ankle injury and is questionable to return.
Plus, wide receiver Michael Gallup left the game with a hip injury, robbing the Cowboys of a receiving weapon down the stretch.
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Veteran safety Darian Thompson entered the game shortly after in replacement of Woods, with the Cowboys clinging to a 24-17 lead over San Francisco. Later in the drive, however, the 49ers were able to take advantage of Woods' absence, tying the game at 24 with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter.
Thompson has struggled at times during his tenure in Dallas but has come on in recent weeks, having arguably his best game of the season last week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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This season Thompson has 37 total tackles, one interception, and one pass deflection in 13 games from Dallas, with that solo interception coming in the aforementioned win over Cincinnati.
In replacement of Vander Esch, the Cowboys inerted another veteran into the lineup in 34-year-old Sean Lee, who has been with the Cowboys since the 2010 season, and has a decorated career with the franchise.