FRISCO, Texas – No more neck roll.
Tyron Smith has said for weeks that he feels great coming off season-ending neck surgery in 2020. Maybe the best sign is the veteran left tackle ditching a significant uniform accessory heading into next Thursday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
"It's been a while since I've felt this good," Smith said after Thursday's practice. "I don't know if you guys saw, but I usually have the huge Cowboy neck roll on. I finally took that off. The neck's feeling normal now."
Smith has been wearing the neck roll in practice and games for the last several years as an extra layer of protection against neck and shoulder issues.
"You can throw that thing away," he said. "I don't want memories of that thing."
A neck injury sidelined Smith for the final 14 games of the 2020 season, but the surgery and a successful rehab with the athletic training staff fixed the issue. The seven-time Pro Bowler believes it might have also solved some of the accompanying back problems he's had in recent years.
The injury now behind him, Smith is looking to play a full season for the first time since 2015.
"That's the goal. I'm going to do my best to play all 17 games," he said. "And I will do it."