FRISCO, TX — It's literally the healthiest the active roster of the Dallas Cowboys has been in years, coming out of their bye week on Wednesday with no one nursing an injury, but that changed slightly when, one day later, starting left tackle Tyron Smith was added with a neck issue that's been described as a slight stinger.
The eight-time Pro Bowler was limited in his second practice of the week and ultimately listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
The team does like his current trajectory heading into their Week 8 matchup against the visiting Los Angeles Rams, a contest that is key in the Cowboys' goal of narrowing the gap between themselves and other top NFC teams that have stumbled recently.
"He took all of the reps in the walkthrough [on Friday]," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "It was kind of a flare up of an old injury. We'll see how he feels tomorrow, but he's definitely made a lot of progress from yesterday to today."
It's an outlook mirrored by owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
"I'm optimistic, period," Jones told 105.3FM the Fan. " ... I'm feeling good about his availability on Sunday."
Jones went on to add that Smith usually plays and practices with a neck roll and the Cowboys expect that to continue going forward.
If Smith is absent on Sunday, it will likely be backup lineman Chuma Edoga taking the start, as was the case against the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots — rookie fifth-round pick Asim Richards viewed as Edoga's backup in that equation.
Thus far, the Cowboys' starting offensive line has logged only two games together and continuity and chemistry are both key for the unit, and that means the more reps they take together, the better they'll be for it.
And this is especially true with the Philadelphia Eagles waiting on the other side of the battle with the Rams.