FRISCO, Texas: The Dallas Cowboys put cornerback Anthony Brown on injured reserve because of a rib injury Saturday, a day after listing Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith as questionable against Atlanta with a neck issue.
Owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show this week Smith would be a game-time decision Sunday after injuring his neck during individual drills in practice. Brown is out at least three weeks after showing up on the injury report Friday.
The Cowboys gave an indication that Smith might not be available against the Falcons by bringing up tackle Eric Smith from the practice squad Saturday. Earlier in the week, Dallas signed tackle Alex Light off Arizona’s practice squad.
If Smith doesn’t play, the Cowboys will be without five projected starters, including both offensive tackles, and two important backups in just Week 2.
They come in at different times and different waves and certainly were getting a mouthful of it right now, executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said on his radio show, referring to the injuries. It just presents a few more challenges that well have to overcome.
Right tackle La’el Collins (hip) and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (broken collarbone) are on IR along with tight end Blake Jarwin, out for the season with a knee injury.
Vander Esch and former starting linebacker Sean Lee aren’t expected back before mid-October. Lee had surgery for a sports hernia. Backup tackle Cameron Erving will be sidelined at least a month with a knee injury.
Erving, Vander Esch and Jarwin were injured in the 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the opener. Jarwin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a noncontact play while cutting on a route.
Signed as a free agent in the offseason to be the swing tackle, Erving was injured blocking on the field goal team when somebody rolled onto his left leg.
Even before Smith’s injury, the Cowboys already had an undrafted rookie starting in Collins’ place in Terence Steele, who was the first Dallas rookie to start a season opener at right tackle since Smith nine years ago.
Jarwin’s injury was a blow because Dallas signed him to a four-year contract in the offseason after deciding to move on from Jason Witten, the franchise leader in games, starts, catches and yards receiving.
Dalton Schultz, a third-year player with 14 catches in 28 games, had the most plays among Dallas tight ends against the Rams. Blake Bell, who won a Super Bowl with Kansas City in his fifth season last year, could have a bigger role.
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