Cowboys' genius Tyron Smith plan changes outlook on 2023 season

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been a major talking point this season. While right tackle Terence Steele's performance has taken center stage after his disasterclass against the Eagles, the health of Tyron Smith is a weekly rollercoaster.

When on the field, Smith has played like arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He turned in a masterclass against the Eagles despite missing almost a week and a half of practice with a stinger. That included missing Dallas' Week 8 game against the Rams.

Smith has started five of eight games this campaign, but the ironic part of his health narrative is that all three of his absences have stemmed from injuries suffered in practice.

Practice injuries have haunted the Cowboys this season, so fans have clamored for the coaching staff to reduce Smith's mid-week reps.

In a sight for sore eyes, Mike McCarthy told reporters this week that it's an option Smith won't practice Wednesdays and Thursdays for the rest of the season. Sure enough, Smith missed Wednesday's walkthrough with an illness and rehabbed off to the side on Thursday.

Cowboys finally make Tyron Smith move fans have begged for

Ask and you shall receive, Cowboys fans.

In all seriousness, this is an awesome development that changes the complexion of the Cowboys season. How could it not?

While the risk of injury is amplified tenfold in a game setting, both of Smith's injuries this year occurred in practice. He suffered a knee injury in a Saturday practice that caused him to miss two games and he sustained a stinger in a Thursday practice two weeks ago that shelved him for the Cowboys' Week 8 win.

Smith proved Sunday against the Eagles that he doesn't need to practice. He didn't allow a single pressure on 57 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus. Whether the 32-year-old was matched up against Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat or rookie Nolan Smith, he put all three edge rushers through a pass-blocking clinic.

On the season, Smith is third with a 98.6 pass-blocking efficiency among tackles. He's allowed just five pressures on 193 pass-blocking snaps.

For whatever reason, Smith has gotten more injured in practice than games this year. He was incredible against a vaunted Eagles pass rush despite being a DNP in practice for almost two full weeks. Most Cowboys fans would argue Smith hasn't needed to practice in years; maybe even a decade.

At this point? Just DNP the eight-time Pro Bowler until he retires.

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