One of the most ominous phrases in sports is “non-contact injury.” Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Tyron Smith is the most recent victim. The Pro Bowl left tackle reportedly has an avulsion fracture that will put him out indefinitely. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport says he could miss all – or close to all – of the 2022 season.
Smith suffered the injury in practice on Wednesday, going down during a running play. He was able to walk to the locker room under his own power. The original report going around was that he had a hamstring tear, but this is much worse. An avulsion fracture is when the hamstring tendon gets pulled off the bone on the back of the knee. It requires surgery to re-attach.
The 32-year-old NFL veteran has had trouble staying on the field in recent years. Smith has not played a full season since 2015, having dealt with knee, ankle, neck and elbow injuries. Over the past two campaigns in particular, he has been out for 20 games total.
According to ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys have $20 million in cap space. They could attempt to sign someone like free-agent offensive lineman Eric Fisher as a replacement option. Rookies Tyler Smith and Matt Waletzko are currently the favorites to possibly move into a starting role, along with second-year player Josh Ball.
The team’s offense caught the injury bug in training camp, with wide receiver James Washington suffering a broken foot back on August 1. Dallas is certainly a legitimate NFC contender this season, as long as they can keep quarterback Dak Prescott off the turf.
Make no mistake, this is a devastating blow for “America’s Team.”
Dallas Cowboys’ Injured Lineman Means Trouble for Dak Prescott
On July 29 it was Prescott’s 29th “golden” birthday, and he created some extra motivation from that for the 2022 season.
“It will be the golden birthday,” he said at the time. “And I plan for this to be the golden year.”
The franchise has not won a Super Bowl in 25 years, and Prescott is looking to lead them to the promised land. But the Dallas Cowboys suddenly have major questions on the offensive line, which is typically a strength for the team.