Oct 9: Smith will undergo neck surgery and will miss the rest of the season, head coach Mike McCarthy announced this morning (Twitter link via Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). However, he is expected to make a full recovery and plans to be back in action for Week 1 of the 2021 season (Twitter link via Gehlken).
Oct. 8: Tyron Smith played all 82 of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps in their shootout loss to the Browns, but the neck injury that caused the All-Pro left tackle to miss the previous two games continues to be a concern.
The Cowboys are considering placing Smith on IR and are not certain he can continue to play this season, Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Smith indeed suffered a setback with his neck and is gathering medical information. He also is considering the prospect of the injury shutting him down for the rest of the season, Jane Slater and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report (on Twitter).
This would certainly be a major loss for a Cowboys team that has already seen right tackle La’el Collins shelved for the season. Travis Frederick‘s offseason retirement would leave Zack Martin alone among Dallas’ All-Pro blocking coalition responsible for helping the respective rises of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys are also down center Joe Looney, who left Sunday’s game after the first play. The team confirmed its starting center is dealing with an MCL issue and will miss time. As for Smith, he has gone to seven straight Pro Bowls and joined Martin on the 2010s’ All-Decade team. The 2011 first-round pick has never missed more than three games in a season.
UDFAs Brandon Knight and Terence Steele are expected to be the Cowboys’ left and right tackles, respectively, for the foreseeable future, the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken tweets. A Smith IR stay would mean at least three missed games, pushing his total to a minimum of five absences this season. Even if that ends up being the Cowboys’ move, their offensive line has run into the kind of trouble that it has not faced in many years.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.