FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a deal with veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters to join their practice squad, according to a source.
By signing to the practice squad, it gives Peters time to work into football shape and give the Cowboys some roster flexibility. Peters, 40, visited The Star late last week and was cleared medically.
The move comes after the Cowboys lost eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith until at least December because of a hamstring that tore off the bone and required surgery. The addition of Peters at least gives them insurance should first-round pick Tyler Smith struggle at left tackle.
Tyler Smith spent all of training camp competing for the starting left guard spot and only started getting work at left tackle in two practices last week. The Cowboys resume practice on Monday in preparation for Sunday’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I’m just ready to do what I’ve got to do to help the team,” Tyler Smith said last week. “Tyron getting hurt, it was tragic to me. Having a dude like that, a cornerstone of this team, having something unfortunate like that happen is the nature of football. It was a huge shock to the program for sure and I knew whatever was asked of me, I would have to step up and fill that.”
Peters started 15 games last year for the Chicago Bears and is entering his 18th season. He spent the majority of his career (11 years) with the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys do not have a veteran backup tackle; Josh Ball did not play as a rookie last season because of an ankle injury, and fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko missed most of training camp with a shoulder injury that will ultimately require surgery.
How quickly Peters gets up to speed depends on what type of shape he is in after not being in a team’s offseason conditioning program. Injuries have been an issue for Peters, too. He has played a full season only once since 2017.