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Cowboys Offensive Tackle Health, Depth Already Causing Concern

The are working through their with mostly good health and full participation across the board. The one position that seems to be having all of the issues is , and this continues a concerning trend that the team has had the last few seasons.

Locked-in starters and have both had their health problems in recent years. Smith has missed three games every year since 2016 and Collins missed one whole game and most of another in 2019.

Those issues are showing up even in these early days of camp. Tyron has had to miss some practice time with a “minor” hamstring problem. Collins started camp on the sidelines with conditioning issues and also had a minor car accident last week.

As of this morning both starters are not currently participating in practice due to these issues. Their absences are not considered serious based on comments from the team, but still they're not out there.

If having the starters out wasn't enough, projected swing just made his practice debut this morning after dealing with his own personal health issue. Even , a backup last year and contender for a roster spot in 2020, was missing for the first few days of practice.

These absences have pushed prospects like , Wyatt Miller, and into extended duty over the last few weeks. And no, extra practice reps for these developing players isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But no matter how much work these guys get in August, Dallas will be in trouble if any of them are playing meaningful snaps come September.

Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith On IR Before Week 17
Dallas Cowboys LT Tyron Smith

Everyone is saying the right things now about Tyron, La'el, and the key players at offensive tackle. All and issues are “minor” and everyone is expected to be ready for Week One. But that game is little less than three weeks away now, and having issues with both starting tackles and their primary backup is a legitimately worrisome.

It's been almost three years but I'm still haunted by the Game against the in 2017. And while I trust that an older and wiser , plus and , would handle that issue better now than was done three years ago, it's still cause for pause.

Until they prove otherwise, the Dallas Cowboys have been a team whose fortunes dance on a tightrope. The margin between contention and implosion, making the or missing them, has been very slim for a long time.

The thought Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, or perhaps both being out of a game in 2020 should make you queasy. That one game could easily be what swings the season.

That's why I can't just accept that these missed practices aren't a big deal. They may prove to be in the long run, but until then they're red flags of what could be a greater problem with major implications for the Cowboys this year.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Often not discussed when it comes to our Oline is how Williams played Tackle in college. I’m sure he’d go out to T in a pinch, then you let some of our insider depth with McGovern,Biadasz or Looney start in Williams spot. I think we have incredible depth on our OLine


The good from this is that the 2nd-team is getting some much needed reps (against the No.1 defense), in a camp where those opportunities are being lost to lots of teams.

Gary b

Yea and getting reps against these gifted pass rushers. The added reps Will give us more of an idea which back ups we can depend on and where they belong on the depth chart.

Cowboys fan

Agreed…. And letting the starters sit and rest during practice pretty much guarantees us that they’ll be healthy and ready to go by week one of the regular season!!

Gary b

This position group might be the most worrisome on the team now; since the secondary is looking much better. We saw what happened in that stretch last when Collins/Smith were hobbled. The season was basically lost during those games. That Smith is already gimpy is the biggest concern. The one guard position Williams/McGovern also seems to be in flux and neither are considered blue chip. I’m hoping our back up O-linemen are improving, as they could be called on more then we might like. If the OL can’t protect Dak and open holes for our RBs it doesn’t matter how many weapons we have. The OL is similar to the LB group, when and only when they are healthy they are a strong unit. I’m cautiously optimistic things will work out .


These are not the clueless Garrett Cowboys. Those Cowboys coaches left an ov er wheeled backup tackle on an island and never did any adjustments.
These coaches will scheme to deal with the tackle issue. Actually, since both tackles are now unreliable and miss significant time, having them out now is far better than if they got injured later. The coaches can have ample time to evaluate and plan for the inevitable games without the starters.

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