FRISCO - The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping for a return this week of an offensive weapon in the conventional sense in running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The Dallas Cowboys, getting ready for an NFL Week 11 visit to K.C., are hoping for the same with a weapon in a non-conventional sense in Tyron Smith.
Dallas coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday said that Smith, the All-Pro left tackle who has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, will be "limited'' in today's workout.
Smith's return ("A good shot,'' says the Cowboys front office) would fortify an O-line that has shuffled about in his absence, with maybe more shuffling to come, as the coaching staff is disappointed in the recent work of left guard Connor Williams.
"We'll see how he goes today,'' McCarthy said. "The goal would be for him to have a full week's work.''
If Tyron can return to left tackle for the 7-2 Cowboys (against the 6-4 Chiefs), does La'el Collins stay at right tackle? Does Terence Steele move back there from the left side, where he's been subbed? Does La'el jump into competition at left guard against Williams? And does valued backup guard Connor McGovern get a shot there?
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Big picture: Offensive linemen are usually thought of as guys who "protect the weapons,'' that is, the skill-position players like QB Dak Prescott. But Smith is really good enough, historically (as a likely eventual Hall-of-Famer) and this season, to serve as a game-changer.
Maybe Edwards-Helaire, the former first-round pick out of LSU who has been on IR with a knee injury, can do that for the Chiefs as well. He ewas hurt back in Week 5, and on the year, he has only has 65 carries for 304 yards and no TDs. But working in the backfield with QB Patrick Mahomes makes him a bit of a scary proposition for an opponent ... as does Tyron Smith working in front of a backfield.
Dallas, meanwhile, will still be missing defensive ends Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. (More here.) ... and no, the 21-day window on Lawrence will not be activated today; as we've reported, Lawrence's return will probably not come until December. McCarthy said on Wednesday that kicker Greg Zuerlein (COVID) should return on Thursday. The Cowboys also say receiver CeeDee Lamb (arm) will be fine for Sunday.
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