The Dallas Cowboys need rookie Tyler Smith to step up on the offensive line at left tackle in 2022 following the injury to Tyron Smith, and while team owner Jerry Jones is confident he can rise to the challenge, he admitted the O-line will certainly have its struggles.
Jones said Friday during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, per Audacy's Logan Mullen:
“Well, I think Tyler is going to get his man. What’s that mean? He’s going to get his man, and I think he’s going to do a good job of it. Is he not going to get him all the time? Yes. We need to have somebody there to help him out, we need to keep some out, to cut some out of the offense, you need to cut it out a little bit and help him out. But I think he’ll get his man, I think he will get better. I think that’s the nature of the position and football.
“He’s got everything we hoped and more when we drafted him. That’s exactly what we drafted him for, to come in and be the left tackle. So he had a really outstanding camp, all of the things are there. Do I wish we had Tyron? Yes. Will we get Tyron back? Likely. But in the meantime he’s going to come in and he’s going to get a Harvard doctorate degree at playing left tackle between now and then. Will we pay some price for it? Yes. Can we win with him paying a price? I think so, yes.”
Tyron Smith underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring last month and is expected to be sidelined for between three and fourth months, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. He is unlikely to return before December.
Jones previously addressed Tyron Smith's injury while meeting with reporters Aug. 25. He said the team's mentality hasn't changed, and it is still going to push to make a deep playoff run.
Losing a member of the offensive line is nothing new for the Cowboys. In fact, Tyron Smith has a lengthy injury history, and he hasn't played a full season since the 2015 campaign. Dallas has had to find ways to replace him in the past, and while it hasn't reached the Super Bowl, it has made the postseason in three of the last six seasons.
There's no reason to believe that it can't contend for a playoff spot this year.
The Cowboys selected Tyler Smith 24th overall in the 2022 NFL draft out of Tulsa. Now that he's expected to start at left tackle, Josh Ball, Matt Waletzko and Aviante Collins could see time backing him up.
Dallas opens the 2022 season at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.