The Dallas Cowboys had plenty of setbacks during the 2017 football season.
Prior to the start of the season, Dallas was considered one of the favorites to come out of the NFC. Not only did they have a dominate ground game led by Ezekiel Elliott and this offensive line, they also had a talented young QB to lead them. Due to injuries and suspensions, the season didn’t go as planned for the Cowboys.
One of those key injuries in 2017 was to left tackle, Tyron Smith!
Smith is the one that plays the most important position on that offensive line. Smith is the one that protects Dak Prescott’s blind side, and does an excellent job of it. During that rookie season for Prescott, Smith was one of three All-Pro First-Team linemen. He was joined by Travis Frederick and Zack Martin that season.
Playing with multiple injuries in 2017, the Cowboys expect and believe their left tackle will be back on the field once camps begin this off-season (via 247 Sports).
“Tyron is so committed to this team and that group of linemen out there,” said executive Stephen Jones, via 105.3FM The Fan. “He was doing everything he could to get himself ready, but I think a good offseason here of getting it to where it needs to be, the thing is I understand we can count on Tyron being back to normal and good to go next year.”
Battling a bad back, Smith was not the same player we had seen in years past. That back issue is something to plan around for this Cowboys team. You may hope he will be back in 2018, but back injuries are not your typical injury to recover from. It can flare up at any time, and Dallas will be smart to look at finding his replacement that he can help groom over the next few years.
Jason Garrett touched on this after the end of the season, and Stephen Jones reiterated Monday that the Cowboys aren’t concerned about Tyron Smith’s health in the long term. #cowboyswire pic.twitter.com/iWJwJvwDt2
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) January 9, 2018
#Cowboys staff believes turning point came in loss to #Falcons. Without Tyron Smith, Adrian Clayborne amassed six sacks of Dak Prescott and two FF. He finished season with 9.5 sacks and never forced another fumble.
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) January 2, 2018
You can never have too many offensive linemen!
Depth is something you always are on the look for, especially along the offensive line. That is something this team has had, and have been better when they have it. Depth at LT is a necessary need moving into the off-season. I wouldn’t use a high pick on him, or go after a veteran to take his job.
Smith is still a young player and has a full off-season to get healthy from a rough 2017 season. The back injury worries me some, but by no means would I be out there looking for his replacement. However, it wouldn’t hurt to keep your ears to the ground and eyes open for that depth. If someone grabs your attention late in the draft, or even during the middle rounds, look into it. If you happen to find a starting caliber tackle, it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Smith will be back to his All-Pro level in 2018!