On Wednesday, the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys suffered a catastrophe. According to ESPN, star left tackle Tyron Smith tore his hamstring while blocking in practice.
According to an additional NFL Network report, Smith’s knee injury was an avulsion fracture, which results in the hamstring tendon rupturing the bone. If he makes an appearance this season at all, it won’t be until December.
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Smith, 31, has missed at least three games annually since 2016 due to a variety of injuries that have plagued him over the course of several seasons. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler and one of the best tackles in the game when healthy, but the qualifier “when healthy” is becoming more and more important.
Dallas is already undergoing significant changes along the offensive line this year after parting ways with right tackle La’el Collins and allowing left guard Connor Williams to leave in free agency. First-round pick Tyler Smith, who the team identified as its left tackle of the future but who could also start at guard next to Tyron Smith in the near future, was anticipated to take the former’s place.
Tyron Smith’s Injury
Tyron Smith suffered a serious injury, and it’s possible that the Cowboys will quickly move on from the potential future Hall of Famer who has been holding down the left side of the line since 2012 (Smith played right tackle as a rookie in 2011) by kicking their first-round pick outside. The other internal options are swing tackle Aviante Collins, a veteran who has only appeared in five games since going undrafted out of TCU in 2017 and 2021 fourth-round pick Josh Ball, who has largely struggled during training camp, and 2022 fifth-rounder Matt Waletzko, who has played exclusively on the right side during camp and is recovering from an injury.
The current strategy is to replace Smith with one of the internal options, but the Cowboys will keep an eye on roster changes throughout the league to decide whether to sign another offensive lineman.
There are still available free agent tackles, including Eric Fisher and Jason Peters, and there have been rumors that the Patriots might make Isaiah Wynn tradeable. If Dallas wants to bring in a player from outside the organization, it has plenty of cap space to make a signing or a trade. But regardless of the path the Cowboys ultimately take, it is highly unlikely that any of those options will produce at the level that they have come to expect from Smith. It’s a devastating loss for an offense that struggled toward the end of the previous campaign due to the offensive line’s injuries and subpar performance.
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