Cowboys Preparing to Make Major Decision on Two-Time All-Pro: Report

Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy reacts after a play.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a good spot at 8-3, but the team may be getting even better with new additions and star players returning from injury.

All things considered, the Cowboys’ strong start to the season is even more impressive when you consider the injuries the team has faced over the course of the season. Quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and wide receiver Michael Gallup have all missed significant time.

But none of those three players has missed as much time as Tyron Smith. The two-time All-Pro has not played a snap in 2022 after suffering a torn hamstring in late August. Now, it appears Dallas will have a major decision regarding his status for the rest of the campaign.

“#Cowboys have planned to open LT Tyron Smith’s 21-day practice window ‘after (Sunday’s) Colts game,’ per source,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler Tweeted on November 30. “So, Week 14 is the hope, depending on his progress. Coach Mike McCarthy said today Smith getting closer.”

Electing to bring Smith back into the fold means that Dallas should be getting back to full strength on the offensive line. An eight-time Pro Bowler is always a player a team wants to have on the field.

However, Dallas has been successful with the current offensive line and Smith is injury prone. There’s always a chance that the Cowboys take it slow with Smith, and maybe even end up putting him on the shelf if he doesn’t seem like he can handle coming back this year.

Cowboys O-Line Getting It Done

In Smith’s place at left tackle has been rookie Tyler Smith, who has done an impressive job despite his lack of experience. The entire line has set the table for Prescott and the running backs, and the stats show how successful they are.

Allowing 14 sacks through 11 games isn’t other-worldly, but it is solid. Keeping Prescott clean (and healthy) is vital, and Smith and right tackle Terence Steele have held their own so far.

Meanwhile, the rushing game has never looked better. Tony Pollard is having a breakout year and his speed and lateral quickness deserve some credit, but the offense is averaging 4.6 yards per rush and 139.2 yards per game.

Dallas’ offense and its blockers aren’t perfect, but they have been successful heading into the Cowboys’ 12th game of the year.

Dallas Likely to Bench McGovern

If there were any questions on who would start where when Smith returns, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones answered them when asked about the All-Pro. According to The Athletic’s Jon Machota, Jones explained that the plan is to shift Tyler Smith inward and have Tyron Smith take the left tackle spot.

“Jerry Jones on @1053thefan said Tyron Smith will be the Cowboys’ left tackle when he returns from his hamstring injury. Jones said he thinks rookie Tyler Smith will ‘easily’ make the transition from left tackle to left guard,” Machota’s wrote.

Blocking at guard is typically considered easier than playing left tackle, but it will be interesting to see how Tyler Smith handles the change. Moving the rookie inward also implies that current starting guard Connor McGovern is set to lose his job and head to the bench instead.

But with one inexperienced rookie and one injury-prone veteran, it would not be surprising to see McGovern being called back into the fray again.

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