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Cowboys news: Tyler Smith had to overcome a serious disease to reach the NFL

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys Rookie Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys rookie Tyler Smith wouldn’t let Blount’s disease slow his rise - Todd Archer, ESPN

Tyler Smith had to overcome a lot to be an NFL draft pick.

Smith’s path from North Crowley to the Cowboys and a guaranteed $13.38 million contract was far from easy. It was nearly stopped by Blount’s disease, a condition that affects the growth plates of the shin bone around the knee and causes severe bowleggedness. The condition is rare, affecting less than 1% of the population, according to the Cleveland Clinic. At 16, Smith was diagnosed with the disease.

“Let me put it like this: There’s not much more things as painful in life,” Smith said.

After visiting with a handful of specialists, Smith and his mom decided he needed surgery.

“It needed to be done to improve his quality of life,” his mother said.

Dr. Lauren Lamont was one of the surgeons involved with Smith’s care. She said that even at 16, Smith’s size (approximately 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds) made it a challenge to examine him on the pediatric-sized tables at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

After visiting with a handful of specialists, Smith and his mom decided he needed surgery.

“It needed to be done to improve his quality of life,” his mother said.

Dr. Lauren Lamont was one of the surgeons involved with Smith’s care. She said that even at 16, Smith’s size (approximately 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds) made it a challenge to examine him on the pediatric-sized tables at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

DallasCowboys.com - David Helman

One of the Cowboys former long-time front office execs has passed away.

Larry Lacewell, the Cowboys’ longtime Director of College and Pro Scouting, passed away Wednesday. He was 85.

Lacewell began work with the Cowboys in 1992, serving as the Director of College Scouting. In 1994, he was named Director of College and Pro Scouting, a position he held until 2005.

His tenure in Dallas, where he contributed to all three Super Bowl championships in the 1990s, was just one stop of an amazing football career. Following a four-year playing career at Arkansas State, he went on to a 32-year coaching career, highlighted by two national championships as an assistant at Oklahoma and a decade as the head coach at his alma mater.

From there, he also served as Arkansas State’s athletic director from 1979-1990. He is commemorated in the school’s Ring of Honor, as well as the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Cowboys drafting Jake Ferguson spells doom for Dalton Schultz - Brandon Martinez, The Landry Hat

Is this really the case? Have the Cowboys drafted a Dalton Schultz replacement?

Back in March, current starting tight end Dalton Schultz was placed on and signed a franchise tag. This will give him and the team until July 15th to reach a new deal. Otherwise, he will play under the tag, giving him $10.9 million next season for a one-year deal.

According to Over The Cap, the Cowboys (as of right now) will have -$2 million in cap space next offseason. Obviously, moves will be made to open up more space along with the league raising the cap like they do almost every year. However, the front office isn’t sitting pretty at the moment in terms of how flexible they can be next year as far as contracts go.

Schultz will more than likely demand more than what he is currently making, even on the tag. He will be expecting to be paid like a top-five tight end in the league, which is fair based on his play last season. Schultz finished third among tight ends in receptions (78), fifth in touchdowns (8), and sixth in receiving yards (808). He was also second on the team in receptions and targets (104).

I’m certain the Joneses will make an effort to re-sign the star pass catcher, but now they have something to fall back on. Let’s just say the chances of them giving Schultz big money next offseason have fallen a tad. It helps their case that Ferguson’s skillset is eerily similar to Schultz’s.

Problem Spots: Finding Competition For Biadasz - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys don’t seem to be totally sold on Tyler Biadasz just yet.

What’s The Issue: Plain and simple, the center position has been one of the weak spots on the team the past two years. In 2020, the combination of center and left guard was an issue and allowed some teams to exploit the middle of the line, especially when facing oversized defensive tackles. Penalties were a problem throughout the team, but especially at center with Tyler Biadasz getting flagged for 10, the second-most on the offense behind Connor Williams (15). However, there are other problem areas bigger than center, but the hope is the Cowboys can get better at this spot one way or another.

Who Can Fix It: It sounds like it’s going to be someone already on this roster. Of course, Biadasz will be looked at first, considering he’s the incumbent starter, having started all 17 games last year and four more as a rookie in 2020. The hope is that the Cowboys will continue to develop him as they did with Terence Steele, who is now a starter at right tackle. If it’s not Biadasz, the Cowboys might look to Matt Farniok and/or Connor McGovern. Now that Tyler Smith has been drafted and he will likely take over at left guard, McGovern and Farniok can spend more time taking snaps with the chance of giving Biadasz some competition.

The Dallas Cowboys are suddenly strong at the safety position - Reid Hanson, Sport DFW

The Cowboys might have just finally patched together a strong safety unit.

The Dallas Cowboys most neglected position has suddenly become a strength. Safety, the position the Cowboys seem to aggressively avoid each and every draft cycle, has seen a resurgence of late in Big D. Not only do they have the front-line starters to protect the secondary, but they also have depth needed to survive a season.

The rest of the NFL may be sleeping on this underrated unit but the Dallas Cowboys certainly know what they have…

Former Indianapolis Colts first round pick, Malik Hooker, enjoyed a bounce-back season in Dallas last year. Not long ago his injury-marred NFL career conjured up mentions of the dreaded bust label, and it was unknown if he’d ever be the player scouts envisioned when he led college football in interceptions at Ohio State.

Coming off a 2020 Achilles injury he signed a prove-it deal with Dallas late last offseason. With Dan Quinn he showed improvement on a weekly basis, and most importantly of all, he stayed healthy. The Cowboys were so impressed with his rediscovered trajectory they made him a priority re-signing; inking him to a two-year, $8 million deal on March 15.

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