Grading the ‘Boys: LT Tyron Smith
At Dallas News, I continued my “Grading the ‘Boys” series with a look at Tyron Smith.
I tracked Smith as allowing only three sacks in 2012, but don’t forget that ‘sacks allowed’ is a low-frequency stat that’s rarely indicative of a player’s real value. Smith actually allowed pressure on 6.0 percent of his pass protection snaps; that’s nearly the same rate as Doug Free, albeit at the more difficult left tackle position. Smith also committed 11 penalties—second-most on the team—suggesting he went through some growing pains on the left side.
In pass protection, Smith took a step back in 2012, but the good news is that he showed improvement. He didn’t allow a sack in the entire second half of the season, and his pressure rate was actually about half of that in the first half of the year. Smith has the athleticism and intelligence to adapt his game to play left tackle—something he hadn’t done on a consistent basis since high school—and we saw that as the season progressed. Perhaps the most telling stat for Smith is that only two of his 11 penalties came after the Cowboys’ initial eight contests, and only three after Week 6.