FRISCO, Texas – Tyron Smith can't help the Cowboys in 2020, but the organization seems confident he'll be OK in the long run.
Word came down on Friday morning that the All-Pro left tackle would undergo surgery to resolve a recurring injury to his neck. And while that surgery will end his 2020 season, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was optimistic about his outlook for 2021.
"Well, we certainly feel that way," Jones said. "Obviously, they haven't had the surgery yet. They'll get in there and fix it. But we certainly feel like he should be good to go after this."
As much as it might sting to lose Smith for the rest of the season, it's encouraging to think this could be a long-term fix. Throughout the last few years, he has battled through a laundry list of health problems, ranging from his back to his elbow to his beck.
Prior to this season, Smith had typically gutted it out. He had missed three games in each of the four previous seasons, but this fifth occasion was too much.
"He's a warrior through and through, and he was trying to push through it," Jones said. "But it just seems like every time he took some time off and did some things to treat it, unfortunately you get in a game with full contact and started feeling it toward the end of the game."
In looking for silver linings, it's at least encouraging that this is happening so early in the season. The earlier the problem gets repaired, the earlier Smith can begin his path back to the field. And with three seasons remaining on his contract, it sounds like the Cowboys hope he will.
"Just feel like we probably need to fix it, why it's a good time to fix it, and we can do it to where he can come back and continue his career," Jones said.
In the meantime, Jones said he anticipates Dak Prescott will be able to manage without his stalwart left tackle. Brandon Knight has started two games on the left side this season and has seemed to hold up well. Jones also mentioned that Cam Erving, who injured his knee in the season opener, may be returning from injured reserve soon.
The Cowboys also claimed a third-year tackle, Greg Senat, off Cleveland's practice squad earlier this week to help with their numbers.
"We're getting Cam Erving back, and just got another young player, Senat from Cleveland, and just feel like we can get this job done," Jones said. "Dak has done an amazing job of not letting it deter him. Certainly back there running the full offense. We just got to push forward, take care of the ball, and execute, and I think we'll be fine."
The Cowboys are back at AT&T Stadium next Sunday, October 11th to take on their rivals, the New York Giants. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!
Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at www.DallasCowboys.com/safestadium.