Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed more positive about left tackle Tyron Smith playing in Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, rather than linebacker Sean Lee.
Smith is dealing with back tightness and was limited in practice Wednesday. He didn’t practice Thursday or Friday, but Jones sounded confident that Smith would be ready to go by Sunday.
“I feel very good about,” Jones said Friday on his 105.3 FM radio show. “That would really be a surprise if he doesn’t play.”
If Smith for some reason can’t go, swing tackle Byron Bell would fill in for him. Smith, 26, has had to manage his back in recent years. He missed a few practices in training camp with back tightness this year, and was sidelined two games early last season because of a back injury.
Jones wasn’t as optimistic on Lee, however. Lee missed last week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams with a hamstring injury, and didn’t practice this week.
With the Cowboys having a bye week coming up after Sunday’s game, that could tilt the scales toward Lee missing his second straight game.
“If we were not looking at a bye next week, then you could be more aggressive with this decision,” Jones said. “But the fact that you have a bye, he could actually go three more weeks without putting competitive type pressure on that ham. So that makes you head scratch a little bit.”
With Lee out of the lineup, Jaylon Smith played every defensive snap last week and the Rams exposed him in the passing game at times.
But the Cowboys will have more help this week, though, with Anthony Hitchens expected to make his season debut. Hitchens sustained a knee injury on Aug. 26, but has been a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday.