There are many reasons that the Dallas Cowboys have faltered their way to a 1-2 record so far in 2020, not the least of which has been injuries on the offensive line. Today, Stephen Jones is reporting that Offensive Tackle Tyron Smith should be okay to play in Week 4 but Dallas may be waiting a while longer for La’el Collins’ return.
The Cowboys have been without Smith the last two games due to a neck injury. He was a game-time decision in Seattle and ultimately did not suit up.
La’el Collins has been out since the start of the year, having been placed on injured reserve with a hip issue. Under the COVID-19 rule changes for 2020, he only had to serve a minimum of three weeks on IR before being eligible to return.
Unfortunately, according to Jones, Collins’ health isn’t going to allow him to take advantage of that provision.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said on @1053thefan that Tyron Smith (neck) is still day to day but he was close to playing Sunday. Jones said La’el Collins is “probably a little further away. He’s working through a couple injuries that he’s trying to get right.”
The Cowboys are hosting the 2-1 Cleveland Browns this week as they look to get back to .500 on the season. Getting just one of their starting offensive tackles back will be a tremendous boost in that endeavor.
Assuming Smith returns as projected, Dallas will likely use Brandon Knight as the starting right tackle. He’s played on the left side the last two weeks while Tyron’s been out, but he has experience playing RT from last season when Collins missed a couple of games.
Undrafted rookie Terence Steele was starting at RT the last three games but got benched at halftime of yesterday’s loss to the Seahawks. The Cowboys actually slid Zack Martin over to tackle, where he performed well, and allowed rookie center Tyler Biadasz to play. Joe Looney took over at right guard for Martin.
Of course, Dallas could elect to use that same lineup against Cleveland. It will come down to how they feel about Knight’s ability at tackle compared to Biadasz playing at center.
With Myles Garrett coming to town, who already has three sacks in 2020, the play of the offensive tackles will be crucial. Our old friend Adrian Clayborn is also with Cleveland and has two sacks on the year himself.
In either scenario, having Tyron Smith back on the field is a big win for the Cowboys. They need him to help slow down the Browns’ pass rushers and provide some additional help to Connor Williams on the left side.
Hopefully, time and healing will soon put La’el Collins back up front as well.