The Dallas Cowboys least three weeks with a broken right forearm and they are trying to acquire someone to back up starter Billy Joe DuPree for Monday night's showdown with the Washington Redskins at RFK Stadium.
Saldi was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's 21-12 Cowboy victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Rayfield Wright, normally a tackle, filled in the rest of the way as DuPree's back-up.
In the past, the Cowboys also have used wide receiver Butch Johnson as a tight end, but at 6-foot-1, 192 pounds he is not an adequate enough blocker to use regularly at that position.
The Cowboys finally shook some of their offensive doldrums in coming from behind to defeat the Cardinals and it was Tony Dorsett, the NFC's leading rusher, who provided the spark.
"Somebody had to," he said.
Dorsett, who was held to 38 yards on 19 carries in a 27-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams the previous game, exploded for a season-high 154 yards on 21 carries Sunday as the Cowboys came back from a 10-0 deficit to record their third victory in four games this season.
Most football people feel it is too early in the season to start talking about "must" games, but the Cowboys, almost to the man, concede that Monday's game with Washington is just that.
"Each game is critical for us because Washington is playing so well," said quarterback Roger Staubach. "We cannot afford to drop two games behind them."
Staubach, who had four passes intercepted in 46 attempts against the Rams, and was sacked three times, was more the Staubach of old against the Cardinals. He completed 16 of 26, did not throw an interception and was sacked only once.
"I know the Redskins are playing great ball," said running back Preston Pearson, "and I know it's going to be a shootout. I'm not at all surprised by their 4-0 start. We know they're good. They are capable of winning our division. We knew that all along and it looks like the only thing that can stop them is us."
While defense is still the strong suit of both teams, some Cowboys expect a high scoring game against the Redskins.
"It's going to take four touchdowns to beat them," said DuPree. "They've got some good people on offense and they are using them well. They're scoring three TDs a game, so it's easy to figure out what we have to score to beat them - at least 24 points.
"It's time for us to just stop fooling around and go out and play good football again."
One of the most underrated Cowboys is fullback Robert Newhouse, who had another Newhouse-type day against the Cardinals, rushing for 53 yards on 12 carries catching three passes for 27 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. He also scored on a short run in the final period to provide the Cowboys' winning points.
"It's always tough just to play in RFK," he said. "Everything is against you - the Redskins, the fans, everything."
"They (the Redskins) may have caught some people by surprised everyone in the league except maybe us. We have always known how good they were."
Saldi, who is one of the Cowboys' better special teams players, had caught three passes this season and two of them were for touchdowns.
The Cowboys' brightest new star, wide receiver Tony Hill, caught two passes for 17 yards and then pulled a hamstring muscle against St. Louis. He returned later, but was not effective.
The Cowboys said the injury is not serious and with the extra day of rest the team has this week, Hill should be ready for the Redskin game.
Linebacker Tom Henderson, who did not play much against the Rams and not at all against the Cardinals because of a sprained ankle, will be ready for Monday's game, the Cowboys said.