When Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith hobbled to the sideline after the final play of the third quarter Monday night, all of Dallas held its breath. Smith didn't return to the game and was spotted with a wrap covering his knee.
On Tuesday, good news emerged. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Smith has a sprained MCL but will not miss any playoff games. Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reported something similar, saying the Cowboys don't believe the injury is serious.
#Cowboys LT Tyron Smith suffered an MCL sprain after a shot to the knee, source said. He'll miss this week, but be ready for the playoffs— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 27, 2016
Smith, a crucial member of the most dominant offensive line in football, was battling a knee injury before Monday's game. He was listed as questionable and played until he was forced to leave with the reported sprained MCL.
He's a big reason why Dak Prescott has been so well protected this year and Ezekiel Elliott has a shot to break Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record. With their star left tackle out for their regular-season finale, it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys handle their other starters -- like Prescott, whose protection could suffer without Smith.