Right before the opening of the season, the Dallas Cowboys will be starting without their Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.
In Wednesday’s practice, Smith suffered an avulsion fracture to his knee and tore his left hamstring which will require surgery. Recent reports say that Smith won’t return to the field until the earliest possibly December, if he returns at all this season.
Smith was on a running play during practice and fell to the ground as he went to make a block against the Cowboys’s linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
“The 31-year-old went down in practice with a non-contact injury but was able to walk off under his own power,” reported the NFL.
After the injury, Smith was found leaving the locker room after practice and to others, he didn’t appear to be limping from the recent injury that was sustained. The initial tests came back and indicated that the ACL in his knee was still intact.
“He gave me a nice reassuring grunt like he usually does. That’s the one thing playing next to him for so long, I can decipher his grunts. I think he’s all right,” said Left guard Connor McGovern.
This isn’t the first time that the Cowboys have had to play without Smith’s presence on the field.
Smith also missed 20 games over the past two seasons and hasn’t played in an entire season since 2015.
Over the last couple of seasons, he has suffered from other knee, ankle, neck and elbow injuries. He missed 14 games over the 2020 season due to his neck injury and 6 games in the 2021 season due to an ankle injury and having some time on the COVID list.
The Cowboys are now trying to evaluate potential free agents for the offensive tackle spot but are having trouble finding help within the position. Any and all efforts to find assistance has now intensified.
The options that are available with the team’s current roster doesn’t come with much experience.
Back in April, the Cowboys drafted left tackle Tyler Smith from Tulsa within the first round and rotated him between the left guard and left tackle position. Their intent was to have Smith start at left guard but have him prepared to slide into left tackle in case Tyron Smith suffered an injury at any point of the season.
Tyler Smith was originally planned to play left guard for this season but still hasn’t taken the job from McGovern. In the most recent training camps, he did some left tackle reps but still played mostly guard positions.
Tyler Smith is still the Cowboy’s plan for the long run in the position at left tackle.
Nikki Indelicato is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.