Cowboys’ Tyron Smith limited at Thursday’s practice with neck injury

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One of the more critical pieces to the Dallas Cowboys’ success, left tackle Tyron Smith has rebounded nicely after missing 14 of 16 games in 2020. He had offseason surgery, was able to ditch the neck roll he’s worn for the last several seasons and reported he was feeling as good as he could remember.

Smith had seemingly recovered perfectly from last year’s surgery, posting the second-highest PFF grade for offensive tackles through the first five weeks. Unfortunately, Smith was a late week addition to the injury report as he was listed a limited participant during Thursday’s practice with… a neck.

A worrisome alert for Cowboys fans, who may feel like they’re having deja vu as Smith has battled nagging neck injuries for the last half decade. Jon Machota of The Athletic did note that Smith “was moving well during the portion open to reporters,” which is a positive sign, and Smith’s “limited” designation is certainly better than a “did not participate.” However, that won’t stop Cowboys’ fans from being rightfully worried about their stalwart tackle.

Right tackle La’el Collins has missed the Cowboys’ last four games with a suspension, but is set to return to the club after the upcoming Week 6 contest against the New England Patriots. In Collin’s absence, second-year tackle Terence Steele has played well, and emerged as the teams’ clear swing tackle.

Should this injury worsen for Smith, veteran Ty Nsekhe would likely figure in to the rotation at the tackle spot. While Steele has played adequately, if Smith were to miss significant time that would be a massive blow for a Cowboys team that is firing on all cylinders, even with Collins’ return following the bye.

Elsewhere on the practice report, running back Ezekiel Elliott (back) and defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) were limited as well on Thursday, but should be good to go for Sunday. Safety Donovan Wilson (groin) was limited, but likely won’t return until after the bye week.

Corner Trevon Diggs and safety Damontae Kazee were notable non-participants but as of now are expected to play Sunday. DE Dorance Armstrong is likely out again with his ankle injury.

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