It's not going to get any easier as the playoff push heats up in the last three weeks and Dallas faces Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay), Michael Vick and Manning one more time.
Even worse, the Cowboys' most talented CB, Mike Jenkins, doesn't expect his shoulder, which he re-injured in the fourth quarter last Sunday, to get any better:
"I’m sure it’s going to pop out again," said Jenkins. "I don’t care how much technique you have when you go through pain like that. As a cornerback, this is everything I’ve got. I need it to re-route. I can’t catch with one hand."
The 5'10 202 CB has struggled with injuries all season, missing four games with a strained hamstring earlier in the year.
But with Terrence Newman and Orlando Scandrick the only other experienced cornerbacks on the roster, Dallas doesn't have the luxury of resting Jenkins any further, not with the Cowboys pass defense rated 24th in the NFL.
That lack of depth is one of the reasons that SBNation's first mock draft has Dallas targeting secondary prospects like Morris Claiborne (LSU), Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama) and Alonzo Dennard (Nebraska).