Cowboys Rumors: It's 'Not Looking Good' for Tyron Smith to Play vs. Saints

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) walks on the field during the first half of a preseason NFL Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys are already facing a monumental challenge Thursday versus the 10-1 New Orleans Saints, and they'll reportedly have to do so without left tackle Tyron Smith.

Jane Slater of NFL.com reported "it's not looking good" when describing Smith's chances of playing. Despite being listed as active, he didn't play in last Thursday's win over Washington with a neck stinger and right elbow injury.

Head coach Jason Garrett previously deemed Smith a game-time decision.

Smith has been an anchor up front for the Cowboys since they selected him with the No. 9 pick in the 2011 draft out of USC. He is a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First Team All-Pro selection and has never played fewer than 13 games in a season.

One reason Dallas has won three games in a row is the stellar run blocking up front. Football Outsiders ranks the Cowboys' offensive line as the eighth-best run-blocking unit in the league, and Ezekiel Elliott tallied more than 120 yards on the ground in each of those games.

However, the offensive line is a lackluster 30th in pass protection and allowed four sacks during the game against Washington without Smith. The Cowboys face Cameron Jordan and a Saints defense that sacked Matt Ryan six times in last Thursday's win over the Atlanta Falcons, meaning Dak Prescott could be in for a long evening.

Dallas is tied with Washington for the NFC East lead at 6-5 and one game ahead of the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.