Everything went right for the Dallas Cowboys against the LA Rams on Sunday. Dak Prescott tossed four touchdowns and was pulled early in the fourth quarter, while CeeDee Lamb put together one of the best games of his career.
The defense only sacked Matthew Stafford once, but they harassed the veteran QB all game. Additionally, DaRon Bland recorded his third pick-six of the season and all-world wideout Cooper Kupp had less than 30 yards receiving.
Fans couldn't ask for a better performance post-bye week, but the victory hammered home the notion that Dallas needs offensive line help. The oft-injured Tyron Smith was a surprising scratch with a neck stinger suffered in practice on Thursday, which forced Chuma Edoga into the starting lineup at left tackle.
While Edoga held his own for a last-minute starter, he suffered a gruesome lower-leg injury in the second half and was carted to the locker room.
Injuries to Tyron Smith, Chuma Edoga should make Cowboys trade deadline plans obvious
Smith's neck injury doesn't appear long-term, but Edoga doesn't share that optimism. Edoga walked off the field but he needed assistance from Cowboys head athletic trainer Jim Maurer and director of rehabilitation Britt Brown to make it to the sideline.
Replay showed Edoga's ankle get twisted up under his body as he was barreled into by a falling lineman. Holding his own block, Edoga was blindsided by the hit and couldn't brace himself. These injuries occur every week in the NFL and they seldom have positive outcomes.
Even if Edoga avoided a serious injury, the sheer uncertainty at left tackle should incentive the Cowboys to buy before Tuesday's 4 p.m. EST trade deadline.
Tyron Smith has performed at a Pro Bowl level when healthy, but he's now missed three of seven games this season ... after he played 4 of 17 games last season, 11 of 17 the year before and just 2 of 16 the year before that in 2020. He simply isn't reliable and the same can be said for Edoga at this point in the calendar.
Though healthy for six of seven games, Edoga seemingly has dealt with some semblance of an injury since training camp.
The Cowboys could always kick rising star Tyler Smith out to left tackle, but that would stunt his development at left guard -- his projected position long term -- for a second straight season. Then again, rookie fifth-round pick Asim Richards isn't a viable starting option at left tackle. Behind Richards, there's Matt Waletzko, but he's still on IR despite having his 21-day practice window opened two weeks ago.
Again, not a viable option.
Regardless of Edoga's long-term outlook, it'd be franchise malpractice for the Cowboys to bank on Smith staying healthy for the remaining 10 games. He hasn't played a full season in almost a decade (2015) and is now navigating a neck injury after battling a knee ailment just a few weeks ago.
The dominant win against the Rams alone should incentive Dallas to be aggressive before the deadline. The injuries to Smith and Edoga should end that debate on arrival.
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