As the Dallas Cowboys get set to close out their 2019 regular season against the Washington Redskins, even at 7-8, they still have an outside shot to make the playoffs. With a win over the Redskins and a Philadelphia Eagles loss to the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East and be the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs.
If they’re going to hold up their end of the playoff berth bargain, they’ll likely have to do so without All-Pro Left Tackle Tyron Smith. Jane Slater of NFL Network is reporting that Tyron Smith will test his back injury in pregame warmups, but he isn’t expected to play.
#Cowboys LT Tyron Smith is not expected to play today per sources. He missed 3 days of practice with a back injury. They’re still going to test it and have him go through drills in warmups similar to the approach for NY Jets game but remember he didn’t end up playing in that one
Earlier this season, Smith had a similar week of practice, where he sat out all week, attempted to give it a go in pregame warmups against the New York Jets and was held out of the game. Tyron Smith’s been dealing with back issues for years now and it’s becoming fair to wonder if he’ll make it to the end of his current contract.
Stepping in for Smith is swing tackle Cameron Fleming who has played admirably during Smith’s absences, but the Redskins will attack the left side of the line repeatedly and Ezekiel Elliott will find running difficult when heading that direction.
As they’ve been for much of the last month, the Dallas Cowboys are in a must-win game. Being in that situation without one of your most important players hasn’t gone well for the Cowboys, especially when they’ve played without Tyron Smith. For the Cowboys to win today against the Redskins, they’ll need an excellent game from Fleming and whoever starts at left guard, presumably Joe Looney.
Unfortunately, the offense is already fighting an uphill battle, even before they take the field.