Smith suffered a torn hamstring in an August training camp practice and required surgery. He has practiced the last two weeks, including one full-padded workout on Thursday.
Smith’s return is good news for the Cowboys after losing right tackle Terence Steele to torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in Sunday’s win against the Houston Texans. It could mean Smith returns to the position he played as a rookie in 2011: right tackle.
Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys used five different offensive line combinations in practice this week, which included Smith, Jason Peters and Josh Ball getting time at left tackle. Ball replaced Steele, who has already had surgery to repair the ligaments, against the Texans, but after allowing a sack and a tipped ball that led to an interception on back-to-back plays, he was replaced by Peters on the Cowboys’ game-winning 98-yard drive.
Peters, who is in his 18th season, had not played right tackle since 2006. The Cowboys are mindful of how many snaps Peters, 40, can play, and they will also work Smith back into the lineup after such a prolonged absence.
Smith, 32, is in his 12th season with the Cowboys and has not played a full season since 2015, dealing with numerous injuries.