The Dallas Cowboys offensive line was in shambles against the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly on the left side. Terence Steele, who has started the last three games in Smith's absence, struggled mightily and didn't even get out of his stance when Defensive End Frank Clark strip-sacked Quarterback Dak Prescott in the first quarter.
It was painful to watch as Prescott seemed to run for his life on every pass attempt that led to five sacks by the Cheifs' defense. However, it appears that help is on the way. According to Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones, Left Tackle Tyron Smith is expected to play on Thursday against the Las Vegas Raiders barring any setback.
The Cowboys expect LT Tyron Smith (ankle) to play against the Raiders.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan: “Barring some unforeseen setback this week, he should be ready to play this Thursday.”
They do not think this is the type of injury that will linger all season.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 22, 2021
“We get Tyron [Smith] back this week,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Monday. “Feel really good about him playing this week and it's just a decision that we have to make, and it is a long year, and certainly we miss him. Be great to get him back.”
Smith has been dealing with bone spurs in his ankle for the last several weeks. The Cowboys were optimistic that he would play against the Chiefs after showing improvement in practice although he was a limited participant. Instead, they took the big picture approach and let Smith get some more time to fully get ready and have him back for Thanksgiving against the Raiders.
The return of the elder statesman of the Cowboys offensive line comes right on time. Las Vegas has a better pass rush than the Chiefs. Their 24 sacks on the season rank 13th in the NFL so having Smith back for this challenge is vital not only to allow Prescott to throw the ball around but for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard in the run game as well.
If Smith returns on Thursday it will be the first time that he will be in the starting lineup with Guard Zack Martin and Right Tackle La'el Collins since 2019. The Cowboys need a momentum-building win against the Raiders to keep pace atop the NFC, and having Smith back on the field increases those odds.