The Dallas Cowboys are entering Week 1 of the NFL regular season, but they may be without one of their youngest and most important starters. Cowboys offensive guard Tyler Smith may only be entering his second year in the league, but he’s already established himself as a needed member of the starting lineup.
The 2022 first-round pick is dealing with a hamstring issue heading into the season opener with the New York Giants. However, Dallas owner Jerry Jones calmed some of the worries down during an interview with 105.3 The Fan.
“We felt better after we visited and assessed it after practice. Hopefully, it’s not serious enough to impact him,” Jones said. “Nothing that we’ve evaluated keeps him out of it at this point.”
Cowboys fans will have a better idea of what Smith’s situation is after the team’s practice on Wednesday, September 5 when Dallas releases their first injury report of the regular season.
Smith is still on his way up, and will continuously need reps to hit the next level this season. But the former Tulsa standout did start 17 games last year while moving around to cover for injured tackle Tyron Smith as well.
Dallas, Jerry Jones Pays Key Lineman Before 2023 Season
While the Cowboys monitor Smith’s status heading into Week 1, the team is also coming off a major decision to pay the guard opposite of Smith, Zack Martin. Martin has been a perennial All-Pro for the past several years, but was wanting a raise to reflect his worth.
After a brief holdout, the Cowboys forked up the cash. The contract change, first reported by ESPN insider Adam Schefter on August 14, gives Martin a sizable raise over the next two seasons.
“Cowboys and All-Pro guard/team captain Zack Martin reached agreement on a reworked deal, per sources,” Schefter wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter.) “The new deal will pay him north of $18 million in each of the next two years. Martin was scheduled to be at $13.5 million this year and $14 million next year, so it’s an additional $8.5+ million. Both years also have been fully guaranteed, per source.”
It’s understandable why Martin wanted a raise after his sixth first-team All-Pro selection and eighth Pro Bowl honor. Martin will turn 33 during the 2023 regular season, so this was one of his last chances to earn another big payday with Dallas.
Former Cowboys WR Ruled Out for Giants
Dallas could have faced off against former receiver Cole Beasley this weekend, but the veteran WR has been placed on the injured reserve by the New York Giants. As Heavy recently covered, Beasley was cut during 53-man roster releases but re-signed to the New York practice squad.
Dallas has faced off against Beasley before, but his presence in a NFC East matchup to open the season added more weight to the contest. Now, the Cowboys and Giants will be waiting and seeing if the former SMU standout will be healthy in time for their rematch on November 12.