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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys Draft USC OT Tyron Smith No. 9 Overall

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Jonathan Bales

After a crazy eight picks to start the 2011 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith.  I had Smith rated No. 6 overall on my Big Board, so I am obviously thrilled with the selection.  Smith will come in and immediately replace Marc Colombo, whose time in Dallas is all but over.

Below is my initial scouting report on Smith.  Keep in mind I completed this months ago, but the majority of it is still true.

Scouting Report

At only 285 pounds, Tyron Smith is incredibly light on his feet.  He slides laterally with ease and has absolutely no problem with speed rushers.  He’s one of the more athletic offensive tackles I’ve seen in awhile.   He reminds me a ton of USC’s top offensive tackle a year ago: Charles Brown (scouting report here).  Smith is actually 10 pounds lighter than Brown.

Like Brown, Smith could get overpowered in the NFL.  With Doug Free on the left side for Dallas, Smith’s lack of strength could become an even bigger issue if he would be moved to the right side.

Unlike Brown, however, Smith nearly always uses great technique in pass protection.  Take a look at his play against Cameron Jordan & Co. below (by the way, he’s at right tackle). . .

Smith utilizes a solid base and quick feet to succeed.  The game above was an up-and-down one for Smith, as he was able to neutralize Jordan at times but got exposed at others.  Take a look at the 1:55 mark when Jordan simply tosses Smith to the ground.  With a frame that can and will add bulk, however, I don’t see Smith’s lack of current size as a huge issue.

Others will since, on paper, Smith is the exact opposite of what the Cowboys traditionally look for in an offensive tackle.  He’s undersized and played in a zone-blocking scheme at USC.  There’s a fine line between drafting players who fit your scheme and selecting the best player available and tailoring the system around his skill set.  I think the best teams implement both tactics.

Smith will excel on screens, counters, and so on at the next level because of his athleticism.  Jason Garrett usually runs lead dives in short-yardage situations and rarely calls power plays behind tackle anyway, so perhaps now is the time to make a switch to the new breed of linemen.   Plus, Smith has right tackle experience.

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So one of my only concerns with Smith was his size.  Well, he bulked up considerably since the end of the season.  He’s now somewhere in the 310 pound range, which is absolutely fine with me.  Since adding some weight, Smith has shown he’s still as agile as before.  His presence will undoubtedly allow the Cowboys to run more “finesse” plays to the right side, like screens and counters.

Plus, Smith has experience at right tackle but left tackle versatility.  This will allow the Cowboys to play him on the right side in 2011, but gives the team some options in the event that they cannot sign Doug Free to a long-term deal.  Let’s also not forget that Dallas likes second-year player Sam Young, but he is a right tackle only.  Since Smith can play either side of the line, he can be a “starting swing tackle” in 2011, meaning he starts at right tackle but moves to the left side in the event for an injury to Free.  Thus, he will become both a starter and an immediate backup, allowing the Cowboys to keep their best players on the field at their most natural positions.

And oh yeah, he is only 20 years old.  Now let’s hope Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor falls into the second round.

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16 Responses to Dallas Cowboys Draft USC OT Tyron Smith No. 9 Overall

  1. Jonny Danger says:

    LMAO Patriots reached for Solder. Thank God they landed his dumbass I cant stand that team. I thought the J.Jones trade was nuts but this is just sad. So much for the Patriots drafting well. Oh and I’m glad we got Tyron Smith so much upside. Though I was upset to see Watt go to Houston. I hope Cam Jordan keeps falling. I would love to land either him or Phil Taylor now.

  2. craig kocay says:

    So much for phil tay

    but yah, we have to be content with our selection

    have a blast there JB

    I hope you get on TV and become famous

  3. Vince_Grey says:

    Holy freakin’ crap… Seahawks take JAMES CARPENTER at 25!

    Wasn’t he thought of as a mid-round guy?????

  4. Trent says:

    what do y’all think the chances are that we can still get bowers?

    he’s still available at 26…

    how much would 40 to 30 cost?

  5. Vince_Grey says:

    Come on Muhammad Wilkerson or Brandon Harris… keep on dropping!

  6. john coleman says:

    I AM THRILLED! The end of Columbo and now we have the swing tackle on the roster. Goodbye #71 too. Columbo and Barron gone.

    Now maybe Brewster is free to move to OG.

    I honestly liked Smith better than anybody available at #9.

  7. Vince_Grey says:

    Well hell. There goes the next best NT. Damn you Jets!

    Boys, don’t forget about Powe later on.

    Atlanta gave up a TON to get a *receiver* for God’s sake. He better be Jerry Rice II for all that.

  8. Vince_Grey says:

    Harris, Ijalana, Paea, Wilson, Ellis and Jimmy Smith still on the board.

    Possible we take Ijalana and make it two OL in a row?

    Really want a DL but all the big time studs are gone. Like Harris as a DB. Or maybe Aaron Williams.

  9. Pingback: Who should Cowboys select in second round? | Dallas Cowboys Times

  10. chris stallcup@gmail.com says:

    Well we can get kendrick ellis lol I wouldn’t pick moore til the third. I like harris tho :-D maybe dequan bowers

  11. Jonny Danger says:

    Really want Justin Houston but I know thats not a “smart” pick but I think he will be special. I’m pulling for Aaron Williams big time then Ijalana, LeShoure, Marvin Austin, Ellis, M.Wilson and maybe Brandon Harris.

  12. Jonny Danger says:

    Wish we could have made a deal and got back in the first for Cam Jordan,Taylor or Wilkerson but oh well. Teams probably asked for to much.

  13. moses says:

    Disappointed with Ty Smith.
    He is fast and athletic. He is dominant against the LBs and CBs. Against DL he gives up ground way too easy. He doesn’t or can hold his position well unless the DL gets caught in a speed move. Bull rushes take him into the pocket.
    Hopefully he does not end up like a Bruce Campbell, an OT that was super athletic with a lot of potential that did not translate well on the field.

  14. Hey guys…got limited time but wanted to get to some of these comments…hope you are all enjoying draft weekend. Can’t imagine anyone is too upset with the pick.

    As far as Bowers still on board…I am really hoping the Cowboys don’t touch this guy. Even aside from the medical, he just doesn’t fit in the scheme. I would much prefer Houston, Ayers, Wilson to Bowers at this point.

    I posted an article detailing the best players available, and I think the Cowboys could really benefit from selecting either Brandon Harris or Marvin Austin. I REALLY don’t think Austin will be available at 40, and I am not opposed to a move up. He’s a top 25 talent, IMO.

    A name I am hearing to watch is Mikel Leshoure, but I just can’t see that happening. Keep it in mind, but don’t plan on it. I’d say Moore is the favorite right now, but I’d much prefer Aaron Williams or Harris.

  15. Vince_Grey says:

    Boys take Bruce Carter in the 2nd. Very interesting. Don’t love it, don’t hate it.

    I think this was a “Welcome to the Cowboys” Rob Ryan pick. He obviously wants more speed/hitting dudes at LB.

    I think Dallas believes they’re fine with the corners they have, and didn’t want to go for a safety this high.

    I say still look for a big NT somewhere, and maybe a RB.

  16. Pingback: Dallas Cowboys 2011 Draft Grades: Did 'Boys Find Value? | Dallas Cowboys Times

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