Injury update on Cowboys OL is concerning before Week 1 vs NY Giants

A key Cowboys offensive lineman is suddenly a question mark for Week 1.
Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyler Smith (73) blocks Tampa
Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyler Smith (73) blocks Tampa / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have won 10 straight games against the New York Giants when Dak Pescott has been under center. Seemingly the only thing (pre kickoff) that could jeopardize Dallas' chances of winning on Sunday night is a debilitating last-minute injury.

Donovan Wilson (calf strain) and Sam Williams (turf toe) were already question marks.

Now, Tyler Smith's status is up in the air after he left Monday's practice. Per reports, Smith is combatting hamstring discomfort. It doesn't sound serious, but it's unclear if the left guard will recover in time for Week 1.

While not the worst news in the world, it's an understatement to say the Cowboys need Smith to counter the Giants' DL firepower.

Cowboys LG Tyler Smith dealing with hamstring injury, uncertain for Week 1 vs NY Giants

It feels like the entirety of Cowboys Nation is in agreement on the team's biggest concern entering the new season: offensive line depth. With top reserve Chuma Edoga still recovering from a knee injury and Matt Waletzko on IR, rookies Asim Richards and T.J. Bass are the projected top guys off the bench.

Richards is currently the Cowboys' swing tackle, while Bass is the top backup guard.

An undrafted rookie out of Oregon, Bass shined in preseason. Bass didn't allow a single pressure on 80 pass-block snaps, per Pro Football Focus. He wasn't as steadfast in the run game (just a 55.0 run-block grade), but he showed enough that would suggest he'd hold his own if thrust into regular season action.

That said, we're talking about a talented Giants defensive front. Dexter Lawrence is one of the premier DTs in the league -- and just got paid like it -- while Leonard Williams is capable of wrecking a game.

The presence of Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz would help Bass (if Smith is ruled out), but it's only right to have trepidation when a UDFA is forced to start Week 1 of his rookie year against grizzled vets like Lawrence and Williams.

You have to Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is already in the lab cooking up a game plan to exploit the left side of the line.

Of course, this all means nothing if Smith is cleared for Sunday night. The silver lining is it's a minor injury, but the Cowboys also have to keep the bigger picture in mind. If resting Smith against the Giants is more optimal for his season-long health, that might just be the way to go.

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