UPDATE: Tyron Smith will reportedly miss at least the first three months of the season, if not longer.
#Cowboys standout LT Tyron Smith actually suffered an avulsion fracture of the knee, meaning the hamstring tendon that sits at the back of the knee pulled off the bone and he needs surgery, sources say. If he’s back at all, it’ll be December. A tough loss.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2022
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
Cowboys starting left tackle Tyron Smith is in jeopardy of missing “multiple months” after suffering a “severe torn left hamstring injury” during Wednesday’s practice, according to a joint report from Adam Schefter and Todd Archer.
This development is obviously very bad news for Dallas.
The Cowboys are 41-24 in 65 games with Smith since 2016. That’s a .631 winning percentage.
In the 32 games without him? They’re just 17-15. That’s a .531 winning percentage.
And unlike the Philadelphia Eagles, who can feel good about their offensive line depth, the Cowboys are thin at tackle. This subject has previously been cause for consternation over at Blogging The Boys. It’s also been a common concern raised by my NFC East Mixtape co-host, RJ Ochoa.
Speaking of RJ, here’s what he had to say about the Smith injury:
It goes without saying that this is about as worst case scenario as things can practically get for the Dallas Cowboys. They are facing the prospect of being without one of their best players for months when the regular season starts in two and a half weeks.
There have been many Cowboys fans who were critical of the team’s roster-building strategy when it came to swing tackle specifically because of Tyron’s injury history. Unfortunately Smith entered the 2022 season having missed time in six straight seasons yet the team cut La’el Collins in the offseason and only added to the tackle group by drafting Matt Waletzko (with the pick that they got from the Amari Cooper trade). [BLG Note: Waletzko suffered a significant shoulder injury this summer.]
At present time the team’s only true tackle option is second-year player Josh Ball who has never taken part in an NFL regular season game and has struggled throughout the preseason, although last week against the Los Angeles Chargers showed some improvement.
One option that the Cowboys may entertain exploring is to kick their first-round pick Tyler Smith out to left tackle given that they see him playing the position in the future. If they chose to do that then Connor McGovern could play left guard, the position he has been competing for with Tyler Smith to this point.
Should the Cowboys decide to move rookie Tyler Smith to left tackle, they’ll be starting a player who only turned 21 in April out there. Doesn’t seem ideal.
Of course, none of the Cowboys’ replacement options could be considered ideal. The fill-in is almost assuredly going to be worse than Tyron Smith, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection.
While no one should be rejoicing in Smith’s pain, we would be remiss not to mention the impact this news has on Philadelphia. Smith will likely miss the first Eagles-Cowboys game this year that’s set to take place in Week 6 on Sunday, October 16. Perhaps he’ll be back in time for the Week 16 rematch on Christmas Eve.
Zooming out for a bigger picture look at the NFC East, the Cowboys have been trending in the wrong direction since the season ended. It’s hard to argue the reigning division champions have gotten any better; it’s much easier to make the case they’ve only worsened. Smith’s injury only further raises concern. By contrast, the Eagles have improved on paper and could be poised to make a step forward. We’ll see if the Birds can capitalize on a potential Cowboys backslide.