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Tyron Smith Reveals How Dak Prescott Motivated Him

A photo of the Dallas Cowboys locking arms during the National Anthem, including Dak Prescott and his offensive line.

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys links arms with teammates offensive tackle Tyron Smith #77 and offensive guard Chaz Green #79 during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys were beset with horrible injuries last season, headlined by Dak Prescott's season-ending ankle fracture. He wasn't alone; the team's two stalwart offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins, and star guard Zack Martin all missed significant time.

Collins was out for the entire 16 game season with a hip injury. For Smith, it was a neck injury that cost him 14 games, and eventually required surgery. Martin missed six games with a calf strain, and was forced to play out of position for part of the year with the two tackles out.

For Smith, seeing Prescott work back from the gruesome injury that cost him his season has been an inspiration. He thinks he and his other teammates are being pushed by the effort they've seen from Dak to get back to 100-percent in time for the 2021 season.

“For me, the way Dak worked throughout the whole off season the way he pushed himself the way he came back and is able to be on the field with everybody else, it's amazing,” Smith told theFort Worth Star-Telegram. “It lights a fire under you to like, ‘hey push a little bit harder.’ If your quarterback is going to push like that, we got to push the same way or even harder for him. It’s motivational to do what he does.”

Dak Prescott has been a leader for the Dallas Cowboys since his rookie year, when he was thrust into the starting role due to an injury to veteran Tony Romo. That hasn't changed now that he is one of the NFL's most highly paid players.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has seen some of the same things as Smith:

“Dak Prescott’s leadership exudes through the whole football operation,” McCarthy said. “I’m sure it goes far beyond that. The everyday interaction with him is so consistent and steady. He’s as real a person I’ve been fortunate to work with, and I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great ones. He’s the same in the training room. He’s the same in the weight room. The equipment room. Everybody has such a strong relationship with him.”

The Cowboys went 6-10 in their first year under McCarthy, and issues were apparent well before Prescott's injury. Getting he and the bulk of a loaded offensive line back for the year should help along what many believe will be a big turnaround.

[Fort Worth Star-Telegram]