Tyler Smith’s performance in his rookie year raises a lot of expectations. Let us remember that the selection of the offensive lineman in round 1 of the 2022 Draft generated a lot of criticism as he was considered a prospect to be developed and not an immediate starter. However, after making good impressions during the OTAs and Dallas camp so far, the next step for Smith was to prove himself in protected practice.
Now, after adding protective gear to training this week, Smith continues to leave positive impressions.
On Monday, precisely in the first practice with pads, Tyler Smith was one of the most prominent. During team drills, the Tulsa product was dominant and insurmountable at left guard. In fact, part of the day’s snaps were made by him, taking over defensive tackles Trysten Hill and Osa Odighizuwa on separate occasions.
Cowboys LG Tyler Smith and DT Trysten Hill engage in trenches during first padded practice. (Right of screen.) pic.twitter.com/IiPlglAieZ
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 1, 2022
Tyler Smith with another pancake block pic.twitter.com/xuo8NTrppU
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) August 2, 2022
These, without a doubt, are clear signs of Smith’s strength. Especially because of the dimensions that both Hill and Odighizuwa have. Because of this, some Dallas players expressed being impressed by the rookie lineman’s performance.
One of those impressed players is Ezekiel Elliott. Speaking to the team’s official website, the runner expressed his opinion on the performance of the Tulsa product, noting his progress during team practices.
“He’s a strong guy”Elliott said Wednesday. “If you watch any of the plays and when he hits another guy, he lifted two guys off their feet just by hitting them. When he gets his hands on other guys, they won’t be able to get away from him. You can see that he is very skilled, and he will be very good for us.”.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 3, 2022
Aside from Zeke, Micah Parsons also recently praised Tyler Smith. During a radio interview last Sunday on 105.3 The Fan, the linebacker highlighted the strength of the Tulsa product. And, like Elliott, he also mentioned Smith’s ability to not let go of opponents once he gets his hands on them.
“In short, he is very strong”Parsons said about Smith on the show GBAG Nation. “We have to keep moving because, once he has your hands on you, he has the ‘grip of death.’ He is going to be a very important player.”
As far as his offensive linemates go, Zack Martin also has good things to say about Smith. This is how the veteran guard showed it in a statement last week.
“It has been great”Martin said of Tyler Smith. “He’s been asking me a lot of questions. When he’s playing tackle, he asks Tyron (Smith). He wants to learn, to improve, and that’s great for a young guy.”.
Tyler Smith’s will to improve and work ethic after arriving in Dallas have been clear. In early July, the Tulsa product attended the OL Masterminds summit, in which veteran and retired offensive linemen shared their knowledge with young players from the NFL and college football. There, Smith received important lessons to improve his technique and his performance.
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) July 18, 2022
Let’s remember that by betting on Smith, the Cowboys hope the rookie will be a mainstay on their offensive line for years to come. They even hope that he could be Tyron Smith’s future successor at left tackle. Meanwhile, going into this season, Tyler will continue to compete with Connor McGovern for Dallas’ starting right guard job.
For now, it remains to be seen how Tyler Smith performs during the rest of camp and in Dallas’ preseason games. Precisely, it will be in those games where the young lineman will be able to show if he is ready to start this year. Or, if he’s a prospect who still needs development time.