The Dallas Cowboys are desperate for help at offensive tackle after losing star left tackle Tyron Smith to a significant leg injury on Wednesday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that Smith’s left hamstring “tore and came off the bone.” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported that Smith specifically suffered “an avulsion fracture of the knee, meaning the hamstring tendon that sits at the back of the knee pulled off the bone and he needs surgery,” and added that Smith will have surgery on Friday.
So, Jerry Jones (you can read his thoughts on the Smith injury here) and the Dallas front office are on the lookout for veteran help at offensive tackle. Tyler Smith is viewed as a possible replacement, but he’s a rookie — selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Tulsa — that’s spent training camp and the preseason at left guard. And protecting quarterback Dak Prescott’s blindside is a crucial task.
This sparked discussions of even looking at retired players. While serving as an analyst on the Amazon Thursday Night Football debut broadcast, former NFL offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth was asked by sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung if his phone’s been ringing.
Whitworth confirmed that his phone has been ringing, and brought up the Cowboys and the Smith injury. He added, “The problem is they’re calling and texting the wrong person. They need to be texting and calling Melissa Whitworth and the kids, because they have final approval on whether I’m ever going to play football again.”
Andrew Whitworth just said on TNF that the Dallas Cowboys called him.
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 26, 2022
“It has. I mean, obviously, there’s been some things with the Cowboys and losing Tyron Smith. It’s just an awful deal. Such a great player, and a guy I’ve always loved watching play. It’s been a busy day of answering calls. The problem is they’re calling and texting the wrong person. They need to be texting and calling Melissa Whitworth and the kids, because they have final approval on whether I’m ever going to play football again.”
Update: On Friday, though, Whitworth said this wasn’t about the Cowboys reaching out, it was about him answering journalists’ questions on if the Cowboys had reached out and if he’d be interested:
I answered many messages yesterday from national and a few dallas sports reporters and journalist.
☝🏼 The “people” I mentioned last night. Asking me if cowboys had reached out? Or if I was interested?
Answer was “No” 2 both! Appreciate them for doing it the right way!
— Andrew Whitworth (@AndrewWhitworth) August 26, 2022
Whitworth, 40, has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times. And in the final game of his career, he won a Super Bowl for the first time, when the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. He announced his retirement in March, after playing 11 years with the Bengals and five years with the Rams.
The final year of Whitworth’s career also featured him winning the NFL’s 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year award.