Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was recently asked about the decision to put the oft-injured offensive tackle Tyron Smith on Injured Reserve. He has been trying to battle through injuries all season and is one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL when healthy.
“Jerry Jones said it didn’t make sense for Tyron Smith to play in the longterm interest of the Cowboys or himself,” reported Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram.
Of course, Smith’s injury was well-known already. And it was clear that it was bad.
“Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith has a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his knee,” reported ESPN’s Todd Archer after it first happened. “He is not expected to practice today but he has not practiced on a Wednesday in weeks because of back, hip and groin injuries. It’s questionable he will be available Sunday against Seattle.”
Smith could barely play in that game and has since been moved to IR.
The real question that this raises, though, is why the Cowboys would play any of their stars against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Jones is right that this isn’t in the best interests of Smith or the team, but it’s not in the best interests of anyone to risk injury in a meaningless game. The Cowboys are not going to the playoffs. The Eagles are.
Why risk quarterback Dak Prescott or running back Ezekiel Elliott? They can’t accomplish anything more this year, and they just risk further injury. If that’s true with Smith, it’s true with everyone.