FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys feel "really good" about left tackle Tyron Smith's chances of returning to the lineup Thursday against the Raiders, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan.
Smith practiced on a limited basis last week and was a game-time decision against the Chiefs, but ultimately he was inactive for the third straight game because of an ankle injury. Terence Steele again started in Smith's place.
"It's just the full body of work there," Jones said. "(Cowboys associate athletic trainer/director of rehabilitation) Britt Brown, who I think is one of the best in the business at getting these guys ready to play, and Tyron, and working through it with him, we just didn't feel like he was quite ready to go yet and didn't want to have one of those things where we got him out there and he had to start over again.
"But feel really good about him playing this week. … We feel like he's ready to, barring some unforeseen setback this week, he should be ready to play this Thursday."
Jones added that the team doesn't expect Smith's ankle injury to linger once he's back on the field, but they're taking a big-picture approach, knowing there's seven regular-season games left for the 7-3 and NFC East-leading Cowboys.
Smith's return would certainly boost a Cowboys offense that has fluctuated in production these last three games. Sandwiched between a season-high 40-point win over the Falcons on Nov. 14, the Cowboys totaled only 25 points in two losses to the Chiefs and Broncos, including a 19-9 defeat in Kansas City on Sunday.