The coming NFL season in 2022 is crucial for the Dallas Cowboys and Mike McCarthy. It is also crucial for many players, such as All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith who has struggled to stay healthy on an annually basis. Smith is already suffering from an issue that the Cowboys are monitoring, albeit it seems minor, as OTAs are well underway.
McCarthy said that the eight-time Pro Bowler was unable to attend practice on Wednesday due to tightness in the lower back. The team chose to “play smart” and not force him onto the field in May to address the issue. The 31-year old hasn’t played in a full regular season since 2015. He also missed two games in 2020 because of neck surgery. McCarthy said that he had a high ankle injury and was forced to miss six games due to a stint on COVID-19 reserve list.
Smith’s health, as is so often the case in this situation, will be the main focus of training camp and the regular-season.
The Cowboys hope to start rookie offensive lineman Tyler Smith’s career at left guard. This is a critical position, but the first-round selection and Fort Worth native will also get looks at left tackle (the position he most frequently played for Tulsa). Josh Ball, who is entering his second year with the club, was drafted in the fifth round.
James Washington, The newly signed wide receiver was seen wearing a walking boots at OTAs. The Cowboys are also being cautious about his injury. McCarthy said, “I know that he won’t work next week.” McCarthy said, “I cannot give you the details of that.” It is not serious. “I’m not concerned long-term.”
After the team lost four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari cooper to the Cleveland Browns, and their bet that Cedrick Wilson Jr. would sign in Dallas but instead moved to join Miami Dolphins. After those two losses, the importance of Michael Gallup’s re-signing was even more important. However, Washington was traded to the team as an unpaid player.
Washington is now eligible for a major role in a one-year deal. However, he needs to get well and then compete with promising rookie wide receiver Jalen Tolbert. Tolbert is still recovering from a minor injury and won’t be playing this week.
There are still two months before Cowboys training camp, so there is no concern about any of them (Gallup notwithstanding). However, the Cowboys are already dealing with some early injuries bug bites. Smith’s problems with durability and importance to the team’s success make it fair to closely monitor his status at OTAs, minicamp, and the preseason roll.