Tyron Smith and CeeDee Lamb to the Dallas Cowboys rescue

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The injury-riddled Dallas Cowboys were a shell of themselves on Sunday in Kansas City. They couldn’t protect Dak Prescott long enough to consistently and cleanly pass downfield, and when they did, they didn’t seem to have anyone capable of getting open or catching the ball.

So when news that WR CeeDee Lamb and LT Tyron Smith were on track to play on Thanksgiving against the Raiders, Cowboys Nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief.

Tyron Smith and CeeDee Lamb are on track to return for the Dallas Cowboys for Thanksgiving against the Raiders.

The Dallas Cowboys have been without one of their top starting tackles nearly all season. After a single start in Week 1, RT La’el Collins was forced to serve a five game suspension. And the last three weeks Tyron Smith has been out.

Terence Steele, Dallas’ de facto swing tackle, was certifiably not-too-terrible in relief of Collins. The second year tackle struggled in pass protection but was borderline great as a run blocker. Moving to the left side just seemed to highlight all of Steele’s weaknesses even more.

The Dallas Cowboys were forced to chip and double constantly, forcing extra pieces in for pass-protection, and removing potential targets from Kellen Moore‘s attack. The impact was apparent and significant. Over the past six weeks the Dallas Cowboys had become one of the worst first down offenses in the NFL. It’s a category they typically led the league…

Tyron Smith has quietly been the most impactful player on the Dallas Cowboys roster over the years. Dallas is just 14-15 without Smith, so when reports stated he’s on his way back for Thanksgiving, Cowboys fans knew exactly who to be thankful for this year.

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas’ star second year WR, is also on the right track. While the pathway to playing on Thursday isn’t quite as clear, he’s on track and hasn’t had any known setbacks.

CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper lead the league with a combined for 35 catches over 15 yards this season. With Cooper already out, the Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to lose Lamb for another game. The Cowboys visibly lost their teeth last week when Lamb left the game. He’s a vital part of this offense and much like Cooper, he opens things up for other players to make plays.

Both players are key to the Cowboys offense getting back on track. Without the pass protection or reliable targets downfield, Dak Prescott struggled to deliver on Sunday. He was usually feeling pressure and forced to hurry his passes and when he did have time, the receivers struggled to get open and/or complete the catch.

This had a clear impact on Dak given his off target passes and questionable decisions. He also audibled at the line to run the ball into some fairly questionable situations.

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The Dallas Cowboys are dealing with a handful of injuries and frankly, injuries are unavoidable at this point in the season. But Tyron and CeeDee were the straws that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. Getting them back, gets this offense back on track.