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    Will We Ever See Tyron Smith in a Cowboys Uniform Again?

    News of Tyron Smith's major leg and a 3-4 month absence has been rocking for the last two days. While there's hope that Dallas' starting left could return in December, or at least for the , one can't help but wonder if we'll ever see Tyron play another snap for the Cowboys.

    This isn't meant to sensationalize Smith's injury or the situation. There are legitimate reasons why Tyron may not come back on the timetable that's been suggested. If this does prove to be a season-ending injury, it's entirely realistic that Dallas may not have him back in 2023.

    First, let's look at this season. It sounds like the best-case scenario has Tyron returning for the last 5-6 games of the . The first December game is on the 4th, the Week 13 matchup with the on .

    But that point the Cowboys will have played 11-12 games with whoever their replacement plan is at left tackle. Whether it's , , , , or a TBD, that player will have had three months of experience and chemistry-building with the starters.

    Let's say it's Tyler Smith. Supposedly the future at LT, what if Tyler quickly takes to the role and the is humming along nicely? Would the Cowboys risk breaking that rhythm just to get Tyron Smith back on the field for a few games?

    While Tyler Smith presents a unique case for investing in the future, that same basic logic applies to the other options as well. If the Cowboys do bring in someone over the next week or two, depending on who it is and what they give up to acquire him, how quick will they be to send him to the bench?

    The long-term view plays into this decision heavily. Tyron turns 32 in December and is nearing a critical decision point in his contract. Dallas can clear about $9.5 million in cap space in 2023 if Smith is released outright, which given his injury issues now feels more like an eventuality than a possibility.

    Tyron Smith
    Cowboys OT Tyron Smith

    Even if the Cowboys are willing to keep working with Smith the feeling may not be mutual. Tyron will have been battling injuries for seven seasons and especially since 2020. He may simply be done with that fight and choose to retire.

    While 32 isn't necessarily old for offensive linemen, Smith entered the NFL in 2011 and has been a full-time starter from the jump. He's clearly breaking down from the mileage now.

    Plus, one of Tyron's closest associates was the now-retired . While Frederick's early after 2019 was forced by a different kind of medical issue, no doubt it's given Smith some thoughts about how long he needs to keep playing.

    Whether it's as a cap casualty or retiree, Tyron Smith feels like an impending departure. If the end is truly nigh, Dallas will be incentivized to keep investing reps and experience opportunities in next year's potential left tackle now.

    Of course, other injuries or issues on the could develop by December. This discussion is based solely on the current reality and the hope that the rest of the line stays intact this season.

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    It's entirely possible that Tyler Smith or whoever else is tried at LT won't pass muster, leaving us all anxiously hoping for Tyron's return later this year. But that scenario would mean some real issues for the next three months and the majority of the regular season.

    In a way, it's in the Cowboys' best interests if we never see Tyron Smith again. It means that whatever moves are made now to replace him have worked out and left the offense solvent, if not better, for 2022 and beyond.

    That may sound harsh but football is a harsh game. Unfortunately, a business decision that was already coming next may have simply been moved up the calendar.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    VAM

    Who knows if Tyron has played his final game w/Cowboys. However, as we all know, he has had trouble staying on the field these past few years. So, it’s almost like a crap shoot now, which is obviously not what you want for your LT.

    Whatever they do, they should do it exponentially. With Tyron return date very much up in the air for at least this year, my take, bring in an experienced FA and build continuity now. I don’t think they have players on the roster right now to construct a very good line, for a few reasons ie inexperience, not starter level, etc.

    If anyone here has an idea of a good line constructed from the current roster, I would be curious to see that.

    lonewolfz28

    I wouldn’t put it past Tyron to make it back to practice by early-Dec and be “eased back in” through mid-Dec. If there’s any hope left for a post season run, they’ll get him back in the game ASAP. If they all but out of the running by then, it very well may be the last we’ve seen of him.

    Sadly, it’s time for him to think about his long term health and hang them up. Which brings up Zack Martin, who is actually slightly older than Tyron. Martin has been getting dinged up more and more each year as well. He might not have quite as many years in the NFL, but he’s got just as many years of playing football as Tyron and has been playing a more physically abusive position at RG. How long is he going to stick around once Tyron is gone? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they both hang them up together.

    Jasper J

    When healthy, Tyron Smith is arguably best ever LT. He has lots of damage though.
    I pray he retires and has second career planned.

    Daniel

    He hasn’t done shit for this team since 2016, except take up a roster spot and land on the injured list. The big problem for the Cowboys has been all the restructuring of his contract. When you do that, your just kicking the can down the road, well the end of the road is here. The best thing that 77 could do for the Cowboys and himself is retire.