The Dallas Cowboys will not only have to face the Atlanta Falcons without their top running back, but All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith as well.
The upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons was always going to be an uphill battle for the Dallas Cowboys. Especially following the news that America’s Team would be without the services of their starting running back, Ezekiel Elliott, for the Week 10 matchup. The league’s leading rusher from last season is set to serve the first of a six-game suspension stemming from a suspected domestic violence incident from last July.
But that uphill battle got even steeper on Saturday with the Cowboys announcement that All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith has now been downgraded from questionable for the matchup in Atlanta to officially out. Smith didn’t even fly out with the team for Sunday’s game. The 26-year old tackle is suffering from both a groin injury and a lingering back issue, the latter being something he’s been dealing with and playing through all season.
Without Smith in the lineup, the Cowboys will likely turn to Chaz Green to replace him at left tackle in the starting lineup. Green, a former third round pick for Dallas, has played well in spot duty. But he also comes with massive injury concerns, as the 25-year old has struggled with them his entire three-year career.
Also consider the fact Green would presumably start next to left guard Jonathan Cooper, the newest member of the Cowboys offensive line. Cooper, a former first round pick himself, struggled in his first couple starts in Dallas this season. But he’s had his best games for the Cowboys as of late. Certainly, having a four-time Pro Bowler beside him in Tyron Smith helped. Without Smith, the entire left side of the Cowboys O-line could be in jeopardy against a Falcons’ total defense that ranks 10th in the NFL.
Unfortunately, Smith’s name wasn’t the only Pro Bowl player to appear on the Cowboys final injury report. Starting wide receiver Dez Bryant is also questionable for the matchup against the Falcons in the A.T.L. Bryant suffered both knee and ankle injuries during Dallas’ victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. If the Cowboys top wide out is unable to play, their offense will be seriously depleted going into the important Week 10 contest.