Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith is still an elite left tackle

Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Some false narratives surround Dallas Cowboys‘ left tackle Tyron Smith. Injuries have hurt his play, but he’s still a great asset for America’s Team.

Too often, figureheads on ESPN and other major networks like to bash Dallas Cowboys‘ left tackle Tyron Smith. These national journalists and football analysts will point out one or two plays over the course of the season and use that as evidence of Smith’s dramatic decline.

It is true that Smith is no longer playing at the same level he was in 2014. But he still is one of the best, if not the best tackle in the league. Smith’s injuries are a cause of concern, but when he is on the field, he is a dominant force.

Let’s look at empirical evidence to prove this point. Last year, Smith played in 849 snaps. Out of all tackles who played at least 849 snaps, Smith allowed the least amount of pressures (15), the least amount of sacks (0), and the second least amount of hurries (13), per Pro Football Focus.

So saying that Smith is a liability on the field would be incorrect. All the stats show that Smith is still above the rest in the league. The only thing that limits Smith is his availability.

A wise man once said that the best ability is availability. Last year, Smith missed three games. In 2017, he missed an additional three games. The notion that Smith is never available is wrong, pure and simple. Even if he is not 100 percent healthy, he is still better than most tackles in the NFL.

Smith’s back problems may be exaggerated, at least considering the immediate future. However, this does not mean the Cowboys shouldn’t look to find a replacement for Smith in the future.

The effects of back problems, as Dallas fans witnessed with former quarterback Tony Romo, build up exponentially over time. Eventually, Smith will be forced to retire or be cut from the team.

But the Cowboys’ medical staff is one of the best in the NFL, loaded with the best equipment and medical professionals. If any team can provide the correct surgeries and rehab, it is America’s team.

Dallas has not been oblivious to Smith’s injury issues. Earlier last week, the Cowboys resigned left tackle Cameron Fleming to a two-year deal. Fleming is no Smith, but he will serve as a reliable swing tackle that can be plugged in on both sides at any time and perform well.

Smith is only 28-years old and can still play for four or five more years if his body is properly taken care of. His value as a lockdown left tackle with vise-grips for hands cannot be looked over.

With Dallas’ quarterback, Dak Prescott, entering his fourth year with some question marks at the skill positions, Smith needs to be in the lineup for the Cowboys’ offense to have success. Smith has injury problems in recent years, but overall he still is a top tier left tackle in the NFL.

Do you think Tyron Smith is still at top-five left tackle in the NFL? How concerned should the Dallas Cowboys be with his injury problems? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!

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