Tyron Smith hopes he can return, boost a banged-up Cowboys offensive line

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After missing the last two games due to a bulging disc in his back, Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith told reporters Tuesday he’s hopeful he can return to practice this week and be healthy enough to play Sunday vs. the Bengals.

Making Smith’s status more pressing is the status of Chaz Green, who started in Smith’s place the last two games. Green suffered an injury in last weekend’s win over the 49ers and was spotted Tuesday wearing a protective boot on his right foot.

The Cowboys don’t want to have to scramble for healthy bodies and make more changes to their line against a Bengals defensive front led by Pro Bowlers Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins.

The Cowboys already had to make a change at left guard after La’el Collins suffered a toe injury. Collins will have surgery and will be placed on injured reserve, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday. Ronald Leary has replaced Collins at left guard.