There's not much fun being had within the Dallas Cowboys organization this week, considering their 3-0 bubble has now been burst with an 0-2 needle. Losing to the New Orleans Saints in Louisiana in a 12-10 contest was one thing, but following that up with what can only be described as a waterboarding by the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium the next week has many questioning if the Cowboys are contenders or pretenders.
While they work to prove they're the former, they'll do so with at least a smile on their face when it comes to their vaunted offensive line that was essentially a shell of itself against Packers edge rushers Zadarius Smith and Preston Smith. The Smiths had a field day in Dallas in the absence of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and with right tackle La'El Collins battling a back issue that held him out of two practices leading into the contest.
To make matters worse at the time, Collins left with an MCL injury and did not return, but received an MRI on Monday that gave the team a reason to exhale audibly. The results show no major or structural damage -- if any at all -- and Collins is listed as day-to-day with a great chance of taking the field against the New York Jets in Week 6. He's still nursing the back issue, but the worst case scenario has been avoided after he collapsed to the turf holding his right knee in pain -- not to return to the game Sunday.
As promising as that news is, the bigger headline is Tyron Smith is expected to make the flight on Saturday and suit up on Sunday against the Jets -- a source with knowledge of the situation tells me -- barring a major setback this week in practice.
The team will be deliberate with his workload at practice this week, which is to say he'll probably be limited most, if not in all three of the sessions between Wednesday through Friday. Considering quarterback Dak Prescott was sacked three times, hurried eight times and pressured into at least one interception accountable to him, the return of Smith is paramount in the Cowboys mission to avoid dropping a third-straight game, and to the winless Jets. Smith was absent against Green Bay due to an .
Unlike the Packers, who are a top-10 team in sacks, the Jets are 28th in the NFL when it comes to taking down the opposing quarterback -- having only six through four games. The presence of Collins and the return of Smith should combine with that lowly stat to make for a much better outing at familiar MetLife Stadium.
At least, the Cowboys better hope it does.