If Tyron Smith isn’t the best offensive lineman in football, he’s on a short list. And the Dallas Cowboys might be without him for a while.
Smith has a high ankle sprain, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the media after Sunday night’s game. That’s usually an injury that takes multiple weeks to heal. The Cowboys lost 12-10 at the New Orleans Saints, and losing their six-time Pro Bowl left tackle adds to that pain.
It might be easier for Smith to return quicker from the injury than, say, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley had a four-to-eight week timetable, though he believes he can come back sooner. Barkley does more running and cutting than Smith. Still, it’s a potentially bad injury to a key player. Smith will get an MRI on Monday, Jones said.
Tyron Smith has missed time each of past three seasons
Smith has missed games each of the past three seasons. In one memorable 2017 game, the Cowboys’ line without Smith allowed Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn to collect six sacks in a game. Clayborn has 33.5 career sacks in nine seasons.
Cameron Fleming, formerly of the Patriots, would likely replace Smith if he misses time. Fleming has 23 career starts so he has some experience, but it’s obviously a downgrade for Dallas.
The Cowboys have tough games against the Packers and Eagles over the next three weeks, and then a bye in Week 8. Having to go into either of those games without Smith wouldn’t be ideal.
Cowboys await MRI results
Smith got injured late in the fourth quarter. His leg was rolled up on and he stayed down in plenty of pain. He was helped off.
The Tyron Smith injury. He’s been since spotted riding on a cart. pic.twitter.com/uUG1yFFvLI— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 30, 2019
Smith might not get quite the attention of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott or Amari Cooper, but he might be the Cowboys’ most valuable offensive player other than Prescott, who plays the most important position in sports. He’s that good. How Smith recovers from his ankle injury might be as big of a story coming out of Sunday’s game as the loss itself.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports: