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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #73 Tyler Smith

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 73.

OL Tyler Smith
Born: 3rd April 2001 (22) - Fort Worth, Texas
College: Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Draft: 2022, Round 1, Pick 24, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Stats:
Total Snaps: 1,274 (99%)
Pass Block Snaps: 701
Run Block Snaps: 573
Sacks: 6
Pressures: 40
Penalties: 15

Tyler Smith got to Tulsa in 2019 and spent his freshman year redshirting and developing. By his second year the team felt he was ready and played him as their starting left tackle. He played every game that season on a reduced schedule due to Covid, but his performance was outstanding, playing 667 snaps on offense. He allowed zero sacks and only allowed eight pressures all season which got him named first-team All-AAC. The following season he played 12 games only missing Week 1, but he played well enough to earn a second-team All-AAC nomination. During his three years at Tulsa he played 1,779 snaps, with 896 of those passing sets. Smith allowed only two sacks during those plays and only 18 pressures.

Cowboys Review:
Tyler Smith joins the long list of offensive linemen this front office have struck gold with in the first round. Many questioned the pick when the Cowboys made it, but once again they proved the analysts wrong. The week before the season was due to start Tyron Smith went down for what looked like the season, so the team needed an answer. Tyler Smith came in and looked tremendous becoming a huge surprise from the start. He did well considering the pressure he was under by taking the starting left tackle role, and that showed during Week 1. The only problem with Smith’s rookie season would be how much it could of stunted his development by drifting between left tackle and left guard. That sort of season would be tough even for a veteran, but Smith managed it incredibly well. By the end of his rookie season Smith had established himself as one of the team’s best pass blockers and run blockers.

2023 Roster Projection:
It’s not a question about whether Smith will play, it’s more about where he plays. This year the left guard spot is the one place everyone has the most questions over, but that comes in tandem with what happens at right tackle. How soon Steele returns has a direct impact on the team’s best five players to put on the field. That means the line shuffle could see Smith play at left tackle, which looking at last season was where he played best. But if Steele comes back and is ready for the start of the season Tyler Smith could be pushed into the left guard role until Tyron Smith vacates his left tackle position. At this stage we’re just line dancing.

Projected 2023 Stats:
Total Snaps: 1,250
Pass Block Snaps: 630
Run Block Snaps: 620
Pressures: 39
Sacks: 3

The Big Question:
Where does Tyler Smith play the is season? Left guard or left tackle? Answer in the comment section.

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