'Open Wide!' Injury Report Sends Aldon to Dentist

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - Aldon Smith has missed a lot of football over the course of the last decade, so often due to troubles in his life. He missed the Dallas Cowboys practice on Wednesday here at The Star, too, for a relatively innocuous reason.

The defensive end, who returned to the NFL this year after his lengthy suspension, had to visit the dentist.

That sure beats the continued absences of the likes of Sean Lee, Leighton Vander Esch and Cam Erving, all of whom have injury issues of different levels of seriousness. (See the details below.) And it beats the IR absence of La'el Collins, too, the right tackle who needs two more weeks on IR before his return. And it even beats Randy Gregory, back on the sideline at The Star while awaiting the full lift of his suspension so he can play in Week 6.

READ MORE: Randy Returns: Gregory 1st Day Back At Cowboys Practice

READ MORE: Cowboys Longer-Term Injury Issues Now Include Lee

But in terms of the Dallas Cowboys official practice/injury report as they ramp up to Sunday's noon visit from the Atlanta Falcons, with both clubs 0-1 and needing a victory, the good news largely continues, as practicing for a second straight day is DB Jourdan Lewis, his ankle issue apparently healed.

It is worth noting that tackle Tyron Smith (neck) and receiver Amari Cooper (foot) are also on the Thursday list.

READ MORE: Diggs Vs. Julio? Cowboys Rookie 'Has Earned Starting Job ...

Of critical importance: Jarwin is done for the year with an ACL injury, while Vander Esch could miss more than eight weeks after collarbone surgery. And Lee (with surgery for his sports hernia) is now unavailable for another six weeks.

This issues are daunting, but the Cowboys consider their roster to be a deep one - deep in part because of the quick acceleration of Aldon Smith, who at 31 re-emerged in Sunday's 20-17 loss at the Los Angeles Rams as the same sort of All-Pro-level threat he was a starting a decade ago in San Francisco.

"I was able to make some plays, (but) I also missed some plays," Smith said following the game. "I'm tough on myself, but I did some things well." 

He's selling himself way short, according to his coaches, who were thrilled with him recording his first sack as a Cowboy and much more.

"I would say at times he could actually dominate the point of attack," defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said of Smith. "He's a big, strong man. Just his ability to dominate at the point of attack sometimes.

"That's rare. That's not common. Everybody's a professional athlete in the NFL and everybody's a good player. But some guys are uniquely strong, and I think he is."

Of course, no matter how tough, sometimes need a dentist. So Aldon Smith missed a day. But only a day.

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