Early last Thursday morning, the Dallas Cowboys got some pretty devastating news. Not only was their All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith hurt, but he was also badly hurt. Tests showed that Smith suffered an avulsion fracture in his knee, meaning a piece of his hamstring was torn away from his knee bone. The OL star needs surgery and will be out until at least December.
This is never the news you want to hear, but it certainly wasn’t ideal timing with the team’s big Inaugural Blue-Carpet Kickoff Event that evening. Instead of enjoying the celebrations, players and coaches were understandably asked where the team goes now with the loss of Smith. Will rookie Tyron Smith fill-in? Will the Cowboys call in reinforcements?
Most players gave the cookie-cutter answer that it’s a brutal loss but the team will survive. But, an always-positive Dak Prescott had a very relevant parallel to make light of a dark situation.
Prescott reminded reporters that ironically six years ago to the day, the Mississippi State product was given a chance in a preseason game when then starting QB Tony Romo went down with a fracture in his L1 vertebrae. That unfortunate injury was a scary moment, but ultimately the thing that began the “Dak Prescott era.”
Dak Prescott says Tyron Smith’s injury gives young Cowboys players a chance just like he got when Tony Romo got hurt in the preseason six years ago
The irony of it being the exact date is a bit chilling.
On August 25, 2016, the Cowboys were playing the Seahawks. Romo was looking like his normal self to start the game. On a 2nd and 7 play early in the game, Romo was scrambling and waiting for a play to develop. DE Cliff Abril absolutely flattened the longtime Cowboys QB and it was immediately evident that Romo was hurt.
Cowboys Nation began to panic. How long would he be out? Would the team survive without him?
A wide-eyed 23-year-old Prescott took the field for the next play and gave the franchise hope. He had a touchdown pass to Jason Witten on the next drive.
Even though it was an injury that could’ve had Romo return within the 2016 season, Prescott and the Cowboys were on an 11-game winning streak when the 36-year-old was cleared to return to playing. The team was not going to make a quarterback change. The rest is history.
Last Thursday, Prescott said the situation is obviously unfortunate, but all they can do is focus on the next man up. Based on his experience six years ago, he believes another young player can do just that.