Sources: Dallas Cowboys’ Tyron Smith To Have Surgery For Torn Hamstring, Possible Return In December

Sources: Dallas Cowboys’ Tyron Smith To Have Surgery For Torn Hamstring, Possible Return In December

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is unlikely to return before December after his left hamstring tore and fell out of the bone during practice on Wednesday, sources told ESPN. Thursday.

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Smith is scheduled to have surgery on Friday, a source told ESPN.


“It’s a huge disappointment, especially for Tyron himself,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Thursday. “…Immediately that rallying cry is ‘let’s do it early in the season,’ because when Tyron comes back, we’re going to be that much stronger.

“We want him to push himself where we’re ahead. When we get there healthy, we can make that run in the playoffs. This doesn’t diminish that hope.”

Smith was hurt on a running play and fell to the ground trying to block linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. He was able to walk to the locker room without assistance and initial tests indicated that the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee was intact.

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Smith was seen leaving the locker room after practice and did not appear to be limping.

The loss of Smith, an eight-time Pro Bowler and Dak Prescott’s blindside protector, creates a huge void in an offensive line that was already dealing with question marks before the Sept. 11 opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Time frame is a factor, but we’ll step up and figure it out,” Jones told ESPN after his appearance on First Take. “We are going to line up against them, I assure you, and not by default.”

Dallas drafted Tyler Smith in the first round to be the left tackle of the future and has used him exclusively at left guard during training camp and the first two preseason games. Smith is also dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of the last two practices.

“Hey, Tyler Smith. He’s going to be a big part of this puzzle, our first pick in the draft,” Jones said. “… We’re going to put some people on fire that are going to get reps that we haven’t planned on. That’s the secret of the offensive line, is to have the reps, get the reps. It’s that kind of position. It’s going to give some people some reps.” We have to find a way for our skill players to pick up the slack and that defense to pick up the slack.”

The Cowboys have put Josh Ball, who was a fourth-round draft pick last year but didn’t play as a rookie because of an ankle injury, at left tackle with the first team when Smith has taken breaks. They also drafted Matt Waletzko in the fifth round this year, but he only returned to practice this week after dealing with a shoulder injury for most of training camp.

Coach Mike McCarthy highlighted Aviante Collins’ play during camp, but Collins hasn’t played in a game since 2019. He spent most of last season on the Cowboys’ practice squad.

The Cowboys could look to veterans for help either in free agency or in the trade market to replace Smith. Eric Fisher, the former No. 1 overall pick in 2013, is unsigned after starting 15 games last season for the Indianapolis Colts.

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The Cowboys have more than $20 million in salary-cap space, according to figures from the NFL Players Association, but a good chunk of that is slated to go to practice squad and in-season rosters.

Tyler Smith snapped during organized team activities and minicamp at left tackle. He started 12 games at left tackle last season in Tulsa and nine in his first redshirt season in 2020. The Cowboys like his strength and composition, but wanted him to focus on one position during training camp.

As for Tyron Smith, this continues with a series of injuries in recent years. He hasn’t played a full season since 2015 as he has dealt with knee, ankle, neck and elbow injuries. He missed 14 games in 2020 due to neck surgery. He missed six games last season due to an ankle injury and a stay on the COVID list.

“We played a lot of games without Tyron,” Jones told ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, “but not as successfully as we do with him.”

Smith, who is the longest tenured Cowboys player, turns 32 in December. He is signed until 2023.



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