If it wasn't for Dak Prescott's injury then the devastation of the Cowboys' offensive line would be the team's biggest story right now. Thankfully, Dallas should be getting at least one experienced player back this week in versatile backup Cameron Erving.
Erving has been out since the season opener with a knee injury suffered against the Rams. While signed for his experience and position flexibility, Cam didn't start that week as Dallas gave the opportunity to rookie Terrence Steele at right tackle. Erving was injured on a special teams play.
But now Cam should not only return in Week 7 but will likely be the Cowboys' starting left tackle. With Tyron Smith already on injured reserve Dallas just lost Brandon Knight as well for at least the next three games.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he is "hopeful" OL Cam Erving will be activated off injured reserve this week. "He'll get a bunch of work today." McCarthy did not elaborate on Erving's role, but he's expected to start at left tackle. https://t.co/CsMlGXsvRQ
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 22, 2020
The expectation when Dallas originally signed Erving was that he'd be the swing tackle, replacing Cameron Fleming after he left for the Giants. But Steele, an undrafted rookie, had impressed the coaches enough that he was given the start in Week 1 with La'el Collins on injured reserve.
Things have gone from bad to much, much worse for Dallas' offensive line health. Tyron Smith has since joined Collins on IR and neither will be back in 2020. Starting center Joe Looney is also there for at least two more games, and now Brandon Knight will miss time as well.
Even Zack Martin's status for this week's game is up in the air as he works through the concussion protocol after leaving the Cardinals' game on Monday night.
That leaves left guard Connor Williams as the only original starter certain to play this Sunday in Washington. If Cam Erving returns as expected, he will have more experience than the rest of his fellow linemen put together.
Mind you, this in no way means that Andy Dalton will be safe this week. Erving has hardly lived up to his draft status and left tackle is probably the worst spot to put him.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys simply don't have a better option right now. Hopefully Cam is up to the challenge as Dallas tries to get a pivotal NFC East victory this week against the Football Team.