FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys officially placed guard La'el Collins on injured reserve Wednesday, and their offensive tackles have been working through recent injuries.
Needless to say, it's "all hands on deck" for the offensive line, head coach Jason Garrett said – particularly with All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith (back) and swing tackle Chaz Green (foot) on the injury report this week.
Smith practiced on a limited basis Wednesday after missing the last two games, but Green, the recent fill-in starter on the left side, sat out with a foot injury suffered in Week 2
Doug Free, the starting right tackle, is not on the injury report for the first time since Week 2. The ninth-year veteran had been dealing with a sore quadriceps.
If injuries sideline or limit Smith and Green this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, the line will have to be flexible.
"All hands are on deck on the offensive line," Garrett said. "Doug Free has been a guy who's been able to play both sides (at tackle). Zach Martin can play out there. Emmett Cleary is a guy who is an option for us as we go. Again, we'll take those guys situations day by day and hopefully as the week progresses we'll get better and better."
Martin, the Cowboys' All-Pro right guard, hasn't played tackle in a game since college. Cleary, signed last week for depth, was active last week but did not play. The 26-year-old has spent time on six teams since entering the league in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College.
"Especially around here the standard is very high in that room," he said. "I'm trying to do a good job of both watching the vets and keying in on the details that they're telling me just so that should my time come, we don't skip a beat."
Ronald Leary is expected to continue starting at left guard in place of Collins, who will miss a minimum of eight weeks on injured reserve following toe surgery.