The last week of the preseason is here and the Dallas Cowboys are back in Texas for their final week of practice and third game against the Seattle Seahawks. Tuesday night, the Cowboys took the field in front of fans at Ford Center at The Star.
There were a lot of positives. Micah Parsons continued to show he’s virtually unblockable. Rookie OT Matt Waletzko was seen in pads on the field after dealing with a shoulder injury. Jalen Tolbert was finally doing a bit better, thanks to getting to work with starting QB Dak Prescott.
However, there was one thing that sparked concern. When the practice began, reporters noticed that first-round pick Tyler Smith was not in pads and not participating. At first, people speculated that maybe the team was just giving the rookie rest since he has taken a lot of snaps and contact so far in the preseason joint practices and games.
Smith had no walking boot on and looked healthy to the untrained eye, but an update from Cowboys beat reporters after practice shared a different narrative.
Cowboys rookie Tyler Smith did not participate in Tuesday’s practice with a “minor” ankle injury
Patrik Walker, a writer for DallasCowboys.com, asked Mike McCarthy about Smith’s absence. The head coach made sure to emphasize that it was a minor issue and made it seem like the rookie was fine, but can we trust the Cowboys?
This team is known for playing things off like everything is fine. We didn’t even know Ezekiel Elliott partially tore his PCL in Week 5 until after the season ended. Is the coaching staff downplaying the issue or is it actually not a big deal?
One other thing to note is that McCarthy had a full press conference before practice and entirely neglected to mention this “minor issue.” If it really wasn’t that big of a deal and he knew people would notice Smith’s absence, why wouldn’t he just say something to get ahead of it?
For a rookie who is still technically battling with Connor McGovern (although the role is likely Smith’s) for the starting spot at left guard, sitting out practices in the final week of preseason isn’t ideal. Hopefully, Smith will be back in practice tonight or we will at least get more answers as to what is going on if he’s not.