The Cowboys won’t have their entire starting offensive line Sunday, but the news is better than it could be.
Left tackle Tyron Smith is not expected to play against the Packers after injuring his ankle late in last week’s game. But the Cowboys are expecting right tackle La'el Collins in the lineup, Todd Archer of ESPN reports.
Neither player has practiced this week, but Collins is expected to get some work Friday.
Cam Fleming will start for Smith. He started three games at left tackle for the Cowboys last season when Smith was injured.
“He’s a good player,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He has played well. He has played at a high level in this league. He has played at a high level for us. He played a lot of football for us last year. He went in there and played and functioned and handled himself well. He plays the right way. It’s a very important position. The swing tackle position is critical. To the point about not seeing your skill if you don’t have competent tackles in this league, it’s going to be hard to throw the football. He has done a good job for us. We were excited to get him back.”
Left guard Connor Williams has gotten some work at right tackle this week just in case.
“We’re fortunate that he played tackle in college, so he’s relatively experienced there,” Garrett said. “He hasn’t played tackle here at this level, but he’s somewhat comfortable there. I think that’s where it starts. And then, to your point, playing with the guy next to you, communicating with the guy next to you, being comfortable with the adjustments that you need to make to the variety of the looks you’re going to see, playing with decisiveness and conviction when you do get a variety of looks. All those things. It goes back to experience and playing that position time and time again and growing from the different experiences you have.”
The Cowboys should see receiver Michael Gallup (knee) and defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford (hip) back this week. Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods‘ status remains up in the air as he might need another week to return from a sprained knee, according to Archer.