When it rains, it pours.
The Dallas Cowboys not only suffered their first defeat of the 2019 season Sunday night — a 12-10 struggle at the Superdome — they lost Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith to a high-ankle sprain, as previously reported, and now star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a shoulder injury.
Speaking after the game, amid questioning from reporters who noted Lawrence’s second-half absence, head coach Jason Garrett said the injury was “not deemed to be serious.”
In a Monday radio interview with 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones confirmed Lawrence’s shoulder ailment “but hopefully that’s not going to be an issue,” he said.
If there’s a positive, it’s that Lawrence didn’t hurt his left shoulder, which he had surgically-repaired in April and cost him much of the offseason workout program.
Lawrence joins a decimated defensive line group that includes starting tackle Antwaun Woods, who has a knee injury, and end Tyrone Crawford, who’s battling hip bursitis.
Kerry Hyder and Dorance Armstrong would soak up any reps that Lawrence misses, with Robert Quinn, who leads the club with three sacks, filling in for Crawford at the opposite DE spot.
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Cowboys Holding Breath on DL
While Lawrence licks his wounds, Dallas is hopeful that Crawford and Woods can participate in practice this week, at least on a limited basis, ahead of the club’s Week 5 home contest against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Despite its host of injuries, the Cowboys’ defense currently ranks third in points allowed (14.0 per game), seventh in yards allowed (318.5), 10th against the pass (221.8 YPG), and 12th against the run (96.8 YPG) — nothing to sneeze at.
Better News on Smith
The Cowboys are breathing easier with Tyron Smith. According to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, the right high-ankle sprain the Pro Bowl left tackle suffered Sunday “does not appear as severe as initially was thought,” and he seems more day-to-day than week-to-week.
“While it is a high right ankle sprain, it does not appear as severe as initially was thought after the loss to the New Orleans Saints, according to a source. While his availability for this week’s game against the Green Bay Packers is not yet known, it does not appear to be a major sprain of the ligament that could keep him out for a long period of time,” Archer wrote.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport echoed Archer, adding, however, that Smith will be out for Week 5. And the media reports followed …
For however long Smith is sidelined, the Cowboys will turn to one of only two backup tackles on the 53-man roster, sixth-year pro Cameron Fleming, who started three games in Smith’s stead last season.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL