The Dallas Cowboys have their reasons for being overly cautious with Tyron Smith’s ankle.
The Dallas Cowboys could have really used Tyron Smith last week vs. the Denver Broncos, but here we are.
Dallas’ future Pro Football Hall of Fame left tackle missed his first game of the season vs. Denver last week. While the Cowboys should cakewalk to an NFC East division title, they still lost to a desperate Broncos team to snap their winning streak at seven. While the Cowboys have reasons to proceed with caution with his injured ankle, let’s avoid bulletin-board material, shall we?
If the Atlanta Falcons and the Kansas City Chiefs needed some extra motivation in the next two weeks, ESPN’s Ed Werder just provided them with some.
One thing that could potentially factor into the #Cowboys’ conservative management of LT Tyron Smith and his ankle injury requiring time to heal: #Falcons 31st in sacks per game; only #Chiefs are worse. Cowboys next two opponents.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) November 12, 2021
Tyron Smith injury: Cowboys are proceeding with caution the next two weeks
Though the Falcons and the Chiefs are the two worst teams at getting after the quarterback, these are two teams fighting for their playoff lives midseason. Atlanta occupies the last spot in when it comes to the NFC at 4-4. Kansas City is just on the outside looking in over in the AFC at 5-4. While Dallas can theoretically get by without Smith in these two games, why take the chance?
Even if the Cowboys are sizable favorites on Sunday vs. Atlanta, keep in mind two things. One, Dallas will be down Randy Gregory in the pass rush, which could help keep star quarterback Matt Ryan upright. And two, Dallas’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is the architect of 28-3. Though he is a likable guy, Quinn is largely responsible for wasting so many players’ careers in Atlanta.
Though Dallas should still beat Atlanta, Kansas City’s pass rush may be improving. The Chiefs added Melvin Ingram shortly before the trade deadline in a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Chiefs must be led by their offense if they want to sniff the playoffs this year, they can only go up on the defensive side of the ball. In two weeks, their defense may be much-improved.
Even though the Cowboys can take their time bringing back Smith into the fold along the offensive line, Dallas won’t want to lose winnable games vs. Atlanta and Kansas City with a shot a home-field advantage on the line in the NFC.