The Dallas Cowboys return home for the first time since Thanksgiving in Week 16 with their eyes set on wrapping up the NFC East crown. When they take the field, however, they'll be down one of their most important offensive players.
Left Tackle Tyron Smith has been battling a nagging ankle injury since Week 6, and recently missed the Cowboys' 21-6 victory against the New York Giants. On Sunday, Smith will miss his fifth game of the season against the Washington Football Team.
Tyron Smith (ankle) officially ruled out of Sunday's game.
— Rob Phillips (@robphillips3) December 24, 2021
There was some optimism that Smith could give it a go after showing improvement during the week, but the eight-time Pro Bowler will get more time to heal his ankle and be ready for the last few games of the season before the Cowboys begin their playoff run.
This means that swing tackle Terence Steele will likely get his second consecutive start in relief of Smith. Steele has shown improvement since last season, and although he's nowhere close to Smith, he provides a solid substitute at one of the most important positions in the NFL.
Smith, when he's healthy, is still a dominant force at left tackle and arguably the best at the position even in his 11th season. He vowed to have his first full campaign since 2015, but unfortunately, Smith's multiple stints on the injury report in 2021 have come at the hands of his teammates falling on his ankle from behind.
The Cowboys are taking the big picture approach here with Smith knowing that he'll be vital in their pursuit of the franchise's sixth Super Bowl title.