Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware: "Tyron Smith Having A Pro Bowl Year."

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Third year offensive lineman Tyron Smith is breaking out during the 2013 season and he is earning high praise from his teammates. Still among the youngest players in the league, Smith is on a trajectory that could lead him to the Pro Bowl.

Tyron Smith made his professional debut for the Dallas Cowboys at just 19 years of age, an age when many of his contemporaries were starting either their first or second season in college. Now, at the ripe old age of 22, the talented young offensive lineman is establishing himself as one of the premier left tackles in the National Football League. In his third professional season, the young man, who played his collegiate football at the University of Southern California, is now being mentioned as a legitimate Pro-Bowl candidate by his colleagues, including the man who he frequently squares off against in practice, future Hall of Fame defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

"I feel like he's playing like one of the best tackles in the league right now. I feel like he's having a Pro Bowl year" - DeMarcus Ware.

High praise from a man who has not only been around the league for many seasons, but one who has consistantly faced the best left tackles in the business. In addition to working against Smith on a daily basis, Ware has invested his own time in working with the talented young offensive lineman to perfect his technique. The experience has served to help speed Smith's progress.

No one is more thankful for Tyron's presence than the Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo; after all, Smith is responsible for protecting Romo's blind side. In that capacity, the 6'5", 318 pound Smith has more than proven his mettle this season. Although he had some issues adapting to life on the left side of the Cowboys offensive line during the 2012 season, this year has been significantly improved. Through a dozen games, Tyron Smith has only surrendered one sack in 2013. In his role on the Dallas offensive line, he generally draws an opponent's premier pass rushers like Jason Pierre-Paul and Lamarr Houston, his match-ups for the past two games. Over those two games, his opposition has accounted for a combined 3 tackles and no other stats. Those efforts have earned him praise from Romo as well.

"I hope people recognize how good he's playing right now. He's had a fantastic season, and he keeps getting better and better" - Tony Romo

What should have Cowboys fans excited is that Smith is still a work in progress. While it is still far too early to mention Tyron Smith in the same tones that Dallas fans use to reference legendary offensive linemen Rayfield Wright and Larry Allen; team owner Jerry Jones feels that number 77 has similar potential. While only time will tell if the young man will end his career on that elevated plateau, one thing is becoming clear this season, Tyron Smith is starting to show himself to be exactly the man the Dallas Cowboys thought he was when they invested the ninth overall pick on him three seasons ago. For the time being, that is exactly what fans should expect from him.

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