The Dallas Cowboys aren’t ruling All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith out of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles yet.
Smith, who is dealing with a groin injury, was at Friday’s practice and stretched with the team. But he did not participate in any drills in the portion open to the media.
“We’ll take it day by day,” coach Jason Garrett said of Smith’s status. “We’ll see how he does today and then we’ll take our next step from there, see how he does tomorrow. Typically we take these situations up to game time.”
Said owner Jerry Jones on 105.3 The Fan: “I really don’t want to comment on it because probably only God knows. I know this, if he can play, he’ll be out there.”
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If Smith isn’t able to go, the Cowboys are expected to use veteran Byron Bell in his place. Bell gave up a pair of sacks in limited action last week against the Atlanta Falcons, but is the best option at this point.
Chaz Green started in Smith’s place, but had one of the worst performances by an offensive lineman in recent memory. Green was beat for four sacks on the day – all by defensive end Adrian Clayborn.
The Cowboys coaches have liked how Green has responded this week, but Bell has been given the first-team reps at left tackle.
Garrett said the Cowboys will make sure the game plan is designed to ensure adequate help is given to the left tackle spot.
“Obviously last week we didn’t do a good enough job protecting the quarterback,” Garrett said. “We all have to look at ourselves and what we’re asking players to do and then obviously their execution of that. Protecting the quarterback is big every week in the NFL. Whoever is out there, we want to make sure we put them in a good place.”
For Smith, it could mark the second straight season he’s missed multiple games to injuries. He had started 55 straight games before sitting out Weeks 3 and 4 last season with back issues.
In other injury news, the Cowboys will likely be without starting strong safety Jeff Heath (concussion). Heath didn’t practice all week as he remains in concussion protocol and is listed as questionable. Rookie Xavier Woods is expected to start in his place.
The secondary should get more depth this week with the return of second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie, who has been sidelined since re-aggravating a hamstring injury in Week 5 against the Green Bay Packers.
As expected, linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) and kicker Dan Bailey (groin) have been ruled out. Other players listed as questionable incude defensive tackle Maliek Collins (foot) and tight end Geoff Swaim (knee).