With Tyron Smith possibly gone for the entire 2022 season and swing tackle Josh Ball underwhelming over the course of the preseason the Cowboys will be in scramble mode to secure Dak Prescott’s blind side. With limited options first round pick Tyler Smith may have to take over the role of starting left tackle prematurely.
When Tyler Smith was initially drafted the plan was always to eventually have him take over the left tackle position, however the plan was for this to happen years in the future. While Tyler Smith has the physical tools and the mindset to eventually be a good tackle he lacks the technique and still struggles with penalties due to his hand placement and tendency to over extend. Many of these issues show up in his scouting report pre draft and is one of the main reasons some experts believe his selection in the first round was a reach.
If Smith is forced to start at left tackle it would also put a strain on the Cowboys’ options at left guard. Smith was projected for much of the offseason to take over as the starting left guard. If Smith has to play left tackle that means Connor McGovern will most likely play left guard to start the season. McGovern play has left a lot to be desired up to this point and his inability to play up to the Cowboys’ standards is the primary reason Smith was projected to start over him. If Smith struggles at the left tackle spot and McGovern plays as poorly as he has in the past the entire left side of the offensive line would be compromised. If the Cowboys are insistent on moving Tyler Smith to tackle they would need to upgrade their guard position either through trade. Also for the sake of Smith’s development the move should be permanent. While there will be growing pains the experience and play time will help in his development long term and the Cowboys can finally move into a different going forward at tackle. If this is not the case adding a free agent tackle such as Eric Fisher or Duane Brown and leaving Tyler Smith at left guard may be the best thing for this season. Smith has taken very limited snaps at left tackle in the offseason and has played surprisingly well at left guard as well. Either way, the Cowboys should look to add an outside lineman immediately if they hope to salvage the viability of their offensive line.