After getting additional opinions, Tyron Smith opted for season-ending surgery on his injured neck.
Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday that Smith will undergo surgery next week and will miss the balance of the season.
"This is something that needs to be done," McCarthy said of Smith's surgery, after the All-Pro left tackle had been dealing with the neck issue for a while.
Losing Smith for the rest of the 2020 season is a massive blow to the Cowboys offensive line, which has struggled at times this season. Dallas was already without starting right tackle La'el Collins, who underwent season-ending hip surgery.
McCarthy noted that Brandon Knight has been working at left tackle in place of Smith in practice. There is no replacing a seven-time Pro Bowler, however.
"Tyron Smith has done any and everything he can do to play," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. "The facts are, he's a 10-year veteran. Surgery at this time is important for the rest of his career."
The news is killer for a Cowboys offensive line that was once a strength. Coupling injuries to Smith and Collins with the retirement of center Travis Frederick this offseason, and what was once the gold standard among NFL O-lines has been whittled down to a neon-bright question mark.
Knight and Terence Steele have been forced to play more than 210-plus snaps at offensive tackle this season and appear to be in line to keep the starting roles. Each has struggled at times. McCarthy didn't sound very interested in moving the unit's best two blockers, guards Connor Williams or Zack Martin, to tackle as a quick fix.