Dallas Cowboys star Tyron Smith is probably the best left tackle in the NFL. He was so dominant when Dallas defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle back in 2014 that he was the first offensive lineman in ten years to be named Offensive Player of the Week.
With Seattle’s defensive line getting physically dominated in each of the last two weeks, facing a Dallas team with three top-shelf offensive linemen is not a particularly welcome sight to see. At the very least, Seattle may get a bit of a reprieve, as Smith was injured in Dallas’ win over the Oakland Raiders, and is a question mark to play this Sunday. ESPN’s Todd Archer reports that Smith was diagnosed with an LCL sprain on his right knee:
Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his knee. He is not expected to practice today but he has not practiced on a Wednesday in weeks because of back, hip and groin injuries. It's questionable he will be available Sunday against Seattle.
Smith also didn’t practice on Thursday, so that leaves him with Friday. Even mild LCL sprains can put you out for at least a week. Jerry Jones said that Smith would be questionable, so we’ll see how that goes. Right now the chances of Smith playing on Sunday are not looking great.
If Smith can’t go, then his backup is Byron Bell, best known for being really bad when he played for the Carolina Panthers. You may remember that when Smith was out for Dallas’ loss against the Atlanta Falcons, Chaz Green got the start and proceeded to get bulldozed by Adrian Clayborn all game long. Green was so awful that he was benched mid-game for Bell, who proceeded to give up Clayborn’s sixth and final sack on the afternoon. Bell got the start against the Philadelphia Eagles, and gave up a strip-sack for a touchdown late in the 2nd half.
Ezekiel Elliott may be coming back, but potentially no Tyron Smith is a big deal. You would think that the Seahawks could exploit his absence, and Seattle needs all the help it can get as they fight for their playoff lives.