FRISCO, Texas — Left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to undergo season-ending surgery next week for a neck injury that has sidelined him for two of the Cowboys' first four games, head coach Mike McCarthy announced Friday.
"This is a correctable situation. He obviously will not be available the rest of the season," McCarthy said. "That's something that's been determined and I think clearly the focus is on him personally.
"My understanding is it's something that he's been dealing with for some time. I've been told that it's a correctable surgery, that if he doesn't have the surgery he just would continue to deal with this in a manner of how this season has gone. This is something that needs to be done."
Smith missed Weeks 2 and 3 against the Falcons and Seahawks with the neck issue. He returned for all 82 offensive snaps against Cleveland last Sunday but has not practiced this week.
"Tyron has done any and everything that he could possibly do with his condition to play," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan. "The facts are that he's a 10-year veteran and this surgery at this time, not after the season but at this particular time, is important for the rest of his career."
McCarthy didn't have a specific timetable for Smith's rehab after surgery and whether Smith would be ready to resume football activities in time for next year's offseason program, which typically begins in April.
"I think it's just important that he gets this surgery. He wants to get it as soon as he can and wants to get to work on the rehab process," McCarthy said.
Smith, a seven-time Pro Bowler for Dallas, has never missed more than three starts in a season since entering the league as a first-round draft pick in 2011. Now the Cowboys will have to figure out the best possible backup plan for the remaining 12 games of the regular season.
McCarthy said the team has been working different combinations in practice but did not disclose how the offense will proceed at left tackle Sunday against the Giants.
Brandon Knight and Terence Steele started at left and right tackle, respectively, in two games without both Smith and La'el Collins in the lineup this season. Collins is on injured reserve with a hip injury requiring surgery this week and is also expected to miss the rest of the season, according to reports.
In the last two weeks, the Cowboys have signed Greg Senat to the active roster and Jordan Mills to the practice squad. Mills has 84 career starts. Cam Erving, the projected swing tackle before training camp, could also be back soon from injured reserve (knee).
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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.