The Dallas Cowboys got everything they could have asked for from cornerback Stephon Gilmore when they traded for him last offseason. The veteran tore his right labrum against the Washington Commanders in Week 18 and played through the pain on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
If the playoff run continued, Gilmore would have played through the pain. However, with the season coming to an abrupt end, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News says he will undergo surgery to repair his shoulder.
Stephon Gilmore understood a shoulder injury he suffered in the Jan. 7 regular season finale would probably require surgery.
He postponed the procedure in hopes of a Super Bowl run.
In the past, players with similar injuries shut it down for the year and look forward to the next. Gilmore, being the competitor he is, was hoping to play another three games with the shoulder harness he wore if it came to that.
There were no limitations to his availability on the field for the Wild Card game, given he played all the defensive snaps even with it being a blowout by the fourth quarter.
“I’m going on towards the end,” Gilmore, 33, said. “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.”
Gilmore mentioned to Gehlken that he “for sure” wants to play another season, but with him being one of many key free agents in March, it’s uncertain if that’s with a star on his helmet.
The Cowboys acquired Gilmore with the Indianapolis Colts for a fifth-round pick. His relationship with wide receiver Brandin Cooks, playoff pedigree, and leadership skills were all a part of the intrigue around Gilmore arriving in the first place.
With Trevon Diggs coming off a severe knee injury and Jourdan Lewis entering free agency, Gilmore’s return could be a priority for the front office. His impact on the locker room and mentorship of young players like Diggs and DaRon Bland has been felt all season.
If you don’t believe it, just look at head coach Mike McCarthy’s choices of team captains entering the playoffs. McCarthy named six captains: Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, Brandon Aubrey, Bryan Anger and Gilmore. He was named ahead of defensive stars like Micah Parsons and Bland, who have had phenomenal seasons.
Dallas has a long road ahead to pick up the broken pieces from Sunday’s disaster. Part of the solution could start with re-signing Gilmore and taking another run at the Super Bowl in 2024.