The Cowboys may not have their starting offensive line etched in stone quite yet. In fact, they seem content, at least during the first wave of OTAs, to move players around for maximum positional flexibility.
But NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is sure of this much: Tyler Smith is set to become a household name.
Brooks named the second-year man out of Tulsa to his All-Breakout Team on Monday, placing him among the youngsters who don’t have All-Pro or Pro Bowl honors on their résumés but are due to put themselves on a much bigger stage starting this season.
And even though Smith was the Cowboys’ first-round draft pick in 2022 with an eye toward making him the club’s left tackle of the future, he spent his first pro summer learning how to play guard and eventually saw time at both positions as a rookie.
He’s listed as a guard for this exercise. And Brooks recognizes that Smith’s ability to play both spots so well is what might well launch him into the elite category.
“Billed as a raw athlete following his selection as the No. 24 overall pick last year, Smith exceeded expectations by displaying versatility and positional flexibility as a rookie. Smith’s ability to seamlessly flip-flop between guard and tackle helps Mike McCarthy put his best five blockers on the field. In addition, Smith’s impressive work on the edges gives the Cowboys an insurance policy to protect against another Tyron Smith injury at left tackle. The younger Smith could really see his star rise with continued technical refinement in 2023.”
Smith lined up at left tackle during the Cowboys’ walkthrough practice on Thursday, giving Matt Farniok and Chuma Edoga reps at left guard. Things will undoubtedly change, though, as the players and staff work through various combinations in OTAs and training camp.
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Having just turned 22 in April, Smith is the youngest player named to the All-Breakout offense, which also includes Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy… and former Cowboys lineman Connor Williams, now the starting center in Miami.
Brooks will announce his All-Breakout defense later in the week.