When the conversation of “clutch” is had regarding the current version of the Dallas Cowboys, people love to debate the merits of Dak Prescott.
That’s not what we’re here to do today, although we’ve all certainly seen Dak have some great moments in crunch time. What’s important is that he’s not the only player on the team who shows up in big moments, but we’re not even talking about Amari Cooper or Ezekiel Elliott.
Offensively the Cowboys have a bunch of “clutch” players. Did you know that one of them plays along the offensive line? Tyron Smith is pretty clutch, in fact according to Pro Football Focus he was the most clutch left tackle throughout the 2018 season.
Tyron Smith was the league's highest-graded tackle in the clutch moments last year pic.twitter.com/FISHQLdSsd— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 25, 2019
It’s definitely interesting to see an offensive lineman be measured by a clutch factor, but we’ve all seen Tyron be reliable when the going gets tough. When this information started floating around Twitter there were a lot of people who wondered exactly what this meant as far as left tackles are concerned.
Is it just a matter of blocking in the final two minutes of games? On third downs? PFF offered a bit of an explanation to help clarify the confusion.
Smith had 250 snaps in the 4Q/OT of one-score games, 86 of those were run-blocking snaps and the remaining 164 were in pass protection.— Cam Mellor (@PFF_Cam) May 25, 2019
He had an 86.0 pass-blocking grade (6th) and an 80.0 run-blocking grade (1st) on those snaps, factoring into the overall grade.
Looking at that data, it’s hard to not be insanely impressed by Tyron Smith (such is the case always though). When the Cowboys are trying to run the ball in “clutch” time to ice games away or take the lead they need, he’s the best in the NFL. Such is the Tyron Smith way.
There are a lot of people who think that Tyron’s game has fallen off in recent seasons, but the reality there is that we’re just used to insanely awesome performances from him that very good ones have become below the standard. Don’t worry, Tyron is just fine.
Tyron Smith cannot be appreciated enough. pic.twitter.com/64s7RfkqMb— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) May 21, 2019
Tyron Smith forever.