Cowboys Fail to Quell Concern About LT Tyron Smith’s Neck Injury

Tyron Smith

Getty Tyron Smith

When Tyron Smith experienced a bout of hamstring tightness during training camp, the Dallas Cowboys made it a point to de-emphasize its severity.

Not so with Smith’s latest worry, a neck injury that occurred during individual practice drills Thursday, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy revealed. And that was all McCarthy revealed, because little else currently is known about the All-World left tackle 48 hours before kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons.

“We’re really frankly just going through the process, gathering the information,” McCarthy said Friday, via the team’s official website. “As far as the plan, you’re always working different scenarios. We’ll continue to do that today and tomorrow. We’ll see how Tyron is tomorrow, will probably be the determining factor.

“I don’t have all the information, but I know he wants to go. He’s a pro and he’s doing everything possible with the training staff. We have time. We have another 48 hours, so we’ve just got to, A, do what’s best for him personally and we’ll go from there.”

McCarthy has opted against traditional Friday practices. In its place are walkthroughs and simulations, of which Smith wasn’t a participant. Rather than tamp down concern, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones conceded the seven-time Pro Bowl blindside protector will be a game-time decision for Dallas’ 2020 home opener.

Though, based on Jones’ wording, Smith seems more doubtful than questionable to suit up.

“We’ll see at game time what we’ve got with him,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “The good news is the people that would replace him, the combinations of people, have had more time to work on it than we had this time last week.”

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Potential Replacement

Coming off the hammy, Smith looked like his usual dominant self in Week 1, logging 100 percent (72-of-72) offensive snaps against the Los Angeles Rams. His loss obviously would be a major gut punch to the Cowboys’ chances Sunday.

If Smith is sidelined, starting LT options are limited to Brandon Knight or recently-signed Alex Light, with undrafted rookie Terence Steele — who surrendered continual pressure to the Rams — filling in at right tackle for La’el Collins (IR, hip). The snakebitten Cowboys lost veteran swing OT Cam Erving to a multi-week knee injury amid the opening-day defeat.

McCarthy hinted that guards Zack Martin and Connor Williams could kick out to the tackle spots. The two have taken “some reps” there, McCarthy stated, in a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency plan.

“I don’t want to jump the gun with a bunch of hypotheticals,” McCarthy added.

A final update on Smith’s availability will come no later than Sunday morning, when Dallas releases its list of inactives 90 minutes prior to the noon CT kickoff from AT&T Stadium.

READ NEXT: Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy Critiques Dak Prescott’s Week 1 Performance

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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