The once vaunted offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys’ has progressively declined over the last couple of seasons; going from one of the best units in football to one of the biggest liabilities to take the field. The line has been often injured, heavily penalized, and finished last season towards the bottom in pass blocking, coming in only 23rd in pass block win percentage. With the departures of Connor Williams and Lael Collins, and with cornerstones Tyron Smith and Zack Martin moving towards the tail end of their careers, it became critical to the Cowboys’ future success to reload along the offensive line. This is where Tyler Smith comes in.
The rookie from Tulsa is projected to start at left guard this season, a departure from his natural position of left tackle where he started 24 games during his collegiate career. Smith is a former first team all AAC player and has the physical tools to be a dominant force on the line for years to come. Standing at 6’5 and weighing over 320 lbs, Smith is a big bruising blocker at the point of attack with the power to move players especially in the run game.
While he has all of the physical tools required to develop into a good offensive lineman his technique has been sub par to say the least. Smith also had the unfortunate distinction of being the most penalized player in college football during the 2021 season, amassing 16 penalties.
His poor footwork and tendency to over reach and lean has been one of his biggest issues. Smith also has next to no experience at this point playing the guard position and his ability to transition into the role is in doubt.
While there are some questions surrounding Smith it is very apparent that he has a strong work ethic. Smith arrived at training camp in impeccable shape and so far appears to be doing everything in his power to improve day to day. I expect Smith to start and to have an up and down season in pass protection but to shine in the run game. 17 starts, 3 sacks surrendered, and 3 penalties are our projections for Smith this season.