DALLAS (KDAF) — The offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys got a boost Thursday night after the NFC East division champs chose offensive tackle, Tyler Smith, out of Tulsa. It’s actually a sort of coming home for the first-rounder as he played high school football in Fort Worth.
Thursday night Smith excitedly said, “It’s indescribable, man. Being able to come home after all this time and be able to play for America’s Team is a dream come true. I grew up watching this team.”
Smith was a redshirt sophomore at Tulsa and is 6’5″, 324 lbs and was graded as a 6.33 prospect, meaning he, “Will eventually be plus starter.”
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein projected Smith as a second-rounder and described him as, “Power merchant who plays the game with a field demeanor that can work in his favor on one play and against him on the next snap. Smith is able to displace defenders as a run blocker despite lacking proper hand usage for leverage. He’s explosive and athletic but struggles to sustain and finish what he starts. He’s too quick to discard any semblance of technique in favor of bear-hugging the opponent and drawing a penalty. A move from tackle to guard would allow teams to feature his downhill power in the rushing attack while reducing exposure in pass protection. The holes in his game can all be filled if he accepts coaching and brings it to the field on Sundays.”
The Cowboys say that fixing penalty issues will be top of mind for the rookie who was flagged 16 times in his last season at Tulsa. Coach Mike McCarthy said that his mistakes could be from how aggressive Smith plays, “Those are the ones…you’d rather be dealing with combative one that he can learn from.”
Pro Football Focus tweeted out Thursday night that Smith garnered a 93.9 run-blocking grade in 2021 which was the highest by an AAC tackle ever. PFF touted the tackle’s ability in the run game, “Smith’s run-blocking tape is a sight to behold. Neither Neal nor Ekwonu led the FBS in big-time blocks last season; it was Smith. He likely ends up at guard and is a work in progress as a pass protector, but you can’t teach his power.”