Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith says he’s ‘all right’ after early exit

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith exited in the second half after aggravating his right knee injury and didn’t return. But Smith doesn’t view it as a serious setback.

“I’m all right,“ Smith said after the Cowboys’ 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions on Monday night.

Smith has managed injuries throughout the season. He missed two games early in the year with a bulging disc in his back, and did not practice this week with knee and back injuries.

Owner Jerry Jones didn’t seem too concerned about Smith’s injury, either.

“He’s fine,” Jones said. “He told me after that he was fine. The trainers did too.”

Swing tackle Emmett Cleary replaced Smith at left tackle, and held his own.

Cleary has been active for 12 games, and Monday marked his first extensive game action. 

“It’s fun. I love playing ball,” Cleary said. “I’m playing behind the best player at the position in the NFL, so as much as we can have him out there, we want him out there. But, yeah, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to play.”

Smith is widely considered one of the top left tackles in the game, and was voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl earlier this month.

With the finale next week at Philadelphia meaningless, Smith could be a candidate to rest going into the playoffs. But Jones said he wouldn’t rule out Smith yet.