Smith suffered an avulsion fracture of the knee in Wednesday’s practice and needs surgery, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. Smith won’t be back on the field until December, if at all this season.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said during a Thursday appearance on ESPN’s First Take that he is not sure if Smith will need surgery, but Jones indicated that he expects Smith to be back at some point this season — potentially the playoffs.
While the Cowboys have gotten used to playing without the eight-time Pro Bowler, who has missed 20 games the past two seasons and hasn’t played an entire season since 2015, it’s a massive blow to Dak Prescott’s blind side.
Dallas drafted Tyler Smith, who played left tackle in college, to be the eventual heir on the blind side, but he’s worked at left guard during training camp and preseason. The rookie also has been dealing with an injury of late. Josh Ball, a fourth-round pick in 2021 who struggled last season, has taken reps at left tackle when Tyron Smith has been out. The Cowboys also have fifth-round rookie Matt Waletzko and Aviante Collins as options at LT.