The Dallas Cowboys are about to play one of their most-anticipated games in recent memory as they visit the Kansas City Chiefs and on Friday we found out that they would be doing it without their top wide receiver as Amari Cooper was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
So much of the NFL is a war of attrition and there is nothing that exemplifies this more than the fact that Dallas has never (keep in mind that we are now at the Sunday before Thanksgiving) played a game this season with all 22 of their intended starters for one reason or another.
Unfortunately it appears as if Amari Cooper won’t be the only starter that Dallas is operating without in Kansas City. A report emerged early Sunday morning from NFL Network that left tackle Tyron Smith is not expected to play (he was officially listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week).
#Cowboys standout LT Tyron Smith, who has missed the last few games dealing with an ankle injury, is not expected to play today vs the #Chiefs, source said. This is a big-picture move, especially with the short week ahead.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 21, 2021
Tyron Smith has missed the team’s last two games (Denver and Atlanta) and as the report notes the Cowboys obviously have a quick turnaround as this coming Thursday is their annual Thanksgiving Day game. What is important about that is that not only will Dallas play four days from now, but they will also play exactly one week after that as they visit the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football in Week 13 (the soonest that Amari Cooper could return by the way).
While again today’s game feels rather epic, truth be told it is one of the less-consequential games of the season for the Cowboys (this doesn’t diminish its importance). From the standpoint of conference tiebreakers as far as the NFC Playoff Picture is concerned (here is this week’s rooting guide by the way) it is much more important for Dallas to win at New Orleans than at Kansas City.
Whether or not any of this is factoring into the team’s decision is a mystery, but it appears that Smith will be out.