. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith is being held out of practice again for tightness in his back.
Smith missed two days of padded practices last week, sat out the Hall of Fame Game with the rest of the starters and then took the next few days off with the rest of the team.
He returned to practice Monday and Tuesday before his back flared up on his again. The Dallas Cowboys gave him Wednesday off. Coach Jason Garrett doesn’t know if he will practice Thursday, which makes him unlikely to play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams.
"His back is just stiff on him," Garrett said. "Right now, we're going to be deliberate with bringing him back. I don't want to get into the medical procedures we're going through with our guys but we just feel like it's right to give him some time off here."
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The Cowboys need to be cautious and deliberate because of Smith’s importance to the team as the blind-side protector of quarterback Dak Prescott and his history of back issues dating back to last season.
Smith missed three games in 2016 as he labored with a bulging disc in his back. He managed it for much of the season, missing practice during the week before playing on Sunday.
As of now, Garrett said the Cowboys don't believe Smith's back soreness isn't related to last year's bulging disc.
"We don't think this issue is related to anything from his past," Garrett said. "So, like with a lot of guys, they get nicked up. And for a guy like that, we want to be deliberate in bringing him back."
Emmett Cleary worked with the first team in Smith’s place on Wednesday. Other options at tackle include the ailing Chad Green, who served the swing tackle last season and guard/tackle Byron Bell.
Other players who took Wednesday off were running Darren McFadden, cornerback Orlando Scandrick, linebacker Sean Lee and tight end Jason Witten.