Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: ‘Very optimistic’ Tyron Smith will return vs Arizona

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  • Dallas Cowboys
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  • Tyron Smith
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Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has missed the team’s past two games with an ankle injury. His absence wasn’t a factor in Week 16’s 56-14 drubbing of Washington, with the Cowboys able to move the ball practically at will against the Football Team, but the veteran who was just named to his eighth Pro Bowler will be a critical component to the team’s postseason success.

And it looks like they may get him back for Week 17’s clash with the Arizona Cardinals as they look to stay alive in the race for the NFC’s top playoff seed.

Speaking on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was encouraged about No. 77’s imminent return to action.

“The great news is [we] feel it’s very optimistic that Tyron’s going to be back against the Cardinals,” Jones told the K&C Masterpiece show.

Smith missed three earlier games- Weeks 9 through 11- with what was referred to then by many around the team, including owner Jerry Jones, as bone spurs. The injury was later classified as an ankle sprain. He returned to make the next three starts, but then left Dallas’s Week 14 game versus Washington early. He’s been working his way back since, but has not been cleared for game play yet.

Smith remains one of the most dominant forces in the league when healthy. But after missing all but the first two games of 2020 and having not played a full regular-season slate since 2015, there have been concerns about the lineman, who turned 31 earlier this month.

“Certainly his injury this year that he’s been fighting, with his ankle, has nothing to do with past injuries,” Jones continued in his radio interview. “It’s a part of the game, these injuries. And sometimes you go on a run where you’re fortunate and you’re able to play consecutive games consecutive seasons. And other times, it just seems to bite you. But right now we’re so fired up that Tyron’s going to be back against Arizona. He brings so much to the table in terms of solidifying that left side, giving Dak confidence to step up in the pocket and make the throws that he needs to make. And to have him back is going to really be a great addition back with this offensive line that I think can only help improve us.”

Terence Steele has started the past two games in place of Smith. In Sunday’s rematch versus Washington, he caught his first pass for his first score on a tackle-eligible play.

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