Dallas Cowboys miss Tyron Smith, others more than Ezekiel Elliott in loss to Falcons Dak Prescott sacked career-high eight times as Cowboys' O-line crumbles without Smith By ARTHUR ARKUSHNov. 12, 2017 Sure, the Cowboys missed Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday.Sure, the Cowboys missed Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday. They missed LT Tyron Smith a whole lot more, though. The absences of Sean Lee and Dan Bailey arguably loomed larger than Elliott's on Sunday, too. Dak Prescott was sacked eight times in Dallas' noncompetitive 27-7 loss in Atlanta, where Smith's replacement, Chaz Green, served as a turnstile in Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn's historic afternoon (six sacks, one shy of matching late Hall of Famer Derrick Johnson's single-game NFL record). Prescott, who lost two fumbles and was clearly out of sorts due to the constant rush, had never been sacked more than four times in a game, and was taken down just 10 total times in Dallas' first eight 2017 outings.Clearly the shoes of Smith, an All-Pro, were too big to fill for Green, a former third-round pick who was mercifully benched in the fourth quarter. Mike Nugent had been fine filling in for Bailey, converting 4-of-5 field goal tries and all seven of his extra points in his first two games. But Nugent's biggest attempt while subbing for Bailey, a 38-yarder that would've made it a 20-10 game in the third quarter, bounced off the right upright. When Lee departed with a hamstring injury in the first half, the game remained within reach. But the Cowboys know well what generally happens without their defensive leader. See their two previous losses — to the Rams and Packers — in which Los Angeles and Green Bay racked up 160 and 168 rushing yards, respectively. The latter was a season high vs. Dallas... but Sunday wasn't far behind.Even without Devonta Freeman, who exited early to be evaluated for a brain injury, Atlanta amassed 132 yards on the ground, most of them without Lee on the field. It was a hamstring injury that cost Lee the two previous games this season, and it's been clear for a long time Dallas can't operate at close to the same effectiveness without him. As for Elliott's absence, likely the first of six in concert due to his suspension, obviously it affected the Cowboys' game plan. Clearly it altered the way Atlanta defended Dallas defensively. But Alfred Morris was sufficient (11-53 rushing) as part of the offense's 107 rushing yards (5.1 YPC), albeit buoyed by Prescott's scrambling. Wholly insufficient for the Cowboys were their other replacements on Sunday, none of whom received nearly the attention of the backfield sans Elliott.Can Dallas, now 5-4 after its first loss since the Packers' thriller more than a month ago, bounce back? Jason Garrett's club saw across the field Sunday another team in the Falcons whose season was on the brink before it rediscovered its mojo without one of its best players. The Cowboys will host the NFC-leading Eagles next Sunday night. After Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Co. come to town, it'll be Joey Bosa's and Melvin Ingram's Chargers and Washington with Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.Rather than worrying about Prescott without Elliott, we'll have to see how Prescott recovers from his worst beating in a season-and-a-half in the NFL. Then we'll find out how quickly Smith can return from his first missed game this season with a groin injury and how soon a hamstrung 'D' can get Lee back in the fold. There are a number of vital elements that make the Cowboys click beyond just Prescott and Elliott. Too many were missing on Sunday, not just the suspended star back.