In the wake of today's news that Michael Gallup will miss the next 2-4 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to trim the meniscus in his left knee. Gallup was having another solid game for the Dallas Cowboys when he suffered the injury. It's an unfortunate setback for Gallup was emerging as a go-to player for Dak Prescott in the passing offense.
With Gallup's absence comes an opportunity for other wide receivers on the depth chart. The player most likely to benefit the most is former second-round pick and first-year Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Devin Smith.
Smith exploded on offense for the Cowboys in week two against the Washington Redskins. He had three receptions on three targets for 74 yards and a 51-yard touchdown reception that was the first score of the game for the Dallas Cowboys. After Gallup went down with the injury, Smith was the immediate beneficiary of snaps, catching his other two passes on the drive after Gallup's injury, including one that picked up the first down.
Devin Smith will take on a larger role with Michael Gallup out. This catch yesterday by Smith was his first TD since 2015. He has battled back from two significant knee injuries.
Devin Smith played 26% of the offensive snaps on Sunday and was dynamic and effective in the passing game. Afte the Gallup injury, any time the offense was in 11 personnel (3 wide receivers) Devin Smith was the next man up.
They used Smith on play-action twice and on an RPO signifying their belief in his ability to make plays in the passing game. The former second-round pick from Ohio State has excellent speed and showed out throughout the preseason and training camp to earn his spot on the 53-man roster out of training camp.
In fact, the team felt so good about Smith coming into the season that they were willing to subject both Cedrick Wilson and Jon'vea Johnson to waivers before placing them on the practice squad.
If Michael Gallup does have to sit out for four weeks, then Smith has an excellent opportunity to cement himself within the Dallas Cowboys receiving hierarchy and potentially audition for his next job in 2020, either with the Dallas Cowboys or someone else around the NFL. Smith had likely earned the opportunity to play ahead of Tavon Austin in the offense -- whenever Austin is back -- and how the next two to four weeks go could have a huge impact on the Dallas Cowboys and his own future.
With the emergence of Michael Gallup toward the end of 2018 and to start the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys offense has been much healthier and balanced. It hasn't had to rely on one player to carry the offense and the passing game in particular.
When the Dallas Cowboys have several receiving threats it makes life easier for everyone on offense and much more challenging for opposing defenses. With Devin Smith coming into the lineup, teams are going to have to respect his downfield speed, which could open things up in the short to intermediate areas for the rest of the offense. After his 51 yard touchdown on Sunday, opposing defenses will have to pay attention to Smith.
In week three against at tanking Miami Dolphins squad, Smith may have another big game. In week one, the Miami Dolphins allowed Baltimore Ravens rookie Wide Receiver Marquise Brown to go off for four catches, 147 yards, and two touchdowns. The two touchdowns were on receptions of 47 and 83 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys need Devin Smith to be an effective player in order to keep the balance they've had in their target distribution. Teams will shade coverage toward Amari Cooper with Gallup out and Devin Smith will have to take advantage. Over the last few months, Smith has shown flashes of the ability that once made him a second-round pick. Now he's got a huge opportunity ahead of him and the Dallas Cowboys need him to take advantage of it to have the same level of success they've experienced in the first two weeks of the season.
REPORT: Tyrone Crawford Having Season-Ending Surgery, Headed to IR
And the hits keep coming. Defensive Tackle/Defensive End Tyrone Crawford will have season-ending hip surgery and is expected to be placed on the Injured Reserve.
Source: Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford is being placed on injured reserve. He has been dealing with a hip injury since last season. He was held out of training camp because of it and has struggled to play through it this season
Tyrone Crawford is yet another player on a long list for the Dallas Cowboys who have recently succumbed to the injury bug. With the bye week still a week away and the Philadelphia Eagles up next on the schedule, all of these injuries are happening at the most inopportune time.
All of these injuries put the Dallas Cowboys in a tough position this week against the Eagles. The NFC East division hangs in the balance and you can bet the absence of Tyrone Crawford will have an impact on the game one way or another. That's the short term though. How Crawford's injury impacts the Cowboys long-term has yet to be determined.
Replacing someone with the versatility to play either DT or DE won't be easy for Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys defense. His versatility has been invaluable over the years, which makes it all that much harder to find a replacement.
Luckily, the Cowboys had the foresight to try to address the DL this offseason. They added DT Christian Covington through free agency, drafted DT Trysten Hill, and even brought in a few undrafted free agents who showed promise in preseason. Someone out of this group will have to step up, but who?
Tyron Smith Likely to Return Against Jets, La’el Collins Also Possible
Missing Tyron Smith last week as a significant factor in the Dallas Cowboys' loss to the Green Bay Packers. Losing La'el Collins midway through the game certainly didn't help, either. Thankfully, the Cowboys may be getting both starting offensive tackles back this week when they face the New York Jets.
In a radio show appearance earlier today, Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones stated that Smith was on pace to get back on the field this Sunday in New York. There is not the same certainty around Collins, but a recent knee MRI was negative for any major injury.
Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones tells @1053thefan that Tyron Smith's progress from a sprained ankle looks "promising" with the Jets up next, but they'll see how the week goes. Jones not ruling out La'el Collins (sprained knee) either. #cowboyswire
Assuming Tyron is able to play but La'el is not, we will likely see Cameron Fleming starting at right tackle against the Jets.
Fleming played on the left side last week with Smith out, and backup Brandon Knight came in the game once Collins was injured. Knight had a solid game in his first regular season action, so perhaps Dallas would consider giving him the opportunity to play again this week.
The Jets only have six sacks on the year, which is near the bottom of the league, so Dallas may also be tempted to give Collins an extra week off. Week 7's critical matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles has to already be weighing on their minds.
Even if we only get Tyron Smith back this week, that will go a long way to helping stabilize the offense and giving Dallas a better opportunity to win.
Report: Cowboys RT La’el Collins Expected to Play Sunday
The Dallas Cowboys just got a bit of good news today in the midst of a number of injuries mounting on the roster. According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Right Tackle La'el Collins is expected to play Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
While left tackle Tyron Smith is not expected to play Sunday, the Cowboys will have right tackle La'el Collins in the lineup, according to a source. Collins didn't practice Thursday but is expected to get in some work Friday. The Cowboys will also... https://t.co/G2SN9flikD
He's been dealing with a back issue that has kept him out of practice the last two days. Collins has been one of the best right tackles in the NFL so far in 2019 after signing a five-year 50 million dollar extension with 35 million in guarantees last month. If Collins couldn't go the Cowboys were looking to slide Left Guard Connor Williams to right tackle considering he played left tackle in college at Texas for three years.
This news couldn't have come at a better time considering the Cowboys will be without All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith who is dealing with a high ankle sprain. The Packers run defense has been one of the worst in football in the first month of the season. With Collins now back in the lineup, the Cowboys can establish the run game a lot easier with All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott.
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