Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith at his best in the clutch
Despite entering his ninth season in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is still proving that he is one of the top players at his position.
It’s a lock that left tackle Tyron Smith will go down as one of the greatest offensive linemen in Dallas Cowboys history. And as a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, the 28-year old is on a Hall of Fame path. But despite his relatively young age, Smith is already entering his ninth season in the NFL.
And the injuries are starting to pile up. Smith has missed three games in each of the last three seasons due to various injuries. Last year, he dealt with neck, elbow and back issues throughout the season. Yet, Smith was still selected to his sixth straight Pro Bowl in 2018.
And according to the football analytics website Pro Football Focus, Smith was special in clutch situations last season. Here’s what PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote after naming the Cowboys’ veteran to his 2018 NFL Clutch Team recently.
"“As great players do, though, [Smith] raised his game in clutch time and finished those plays with a grade of 87.3. Smith’s run-blocking grade of 78.4 led all tackles, and he allowed zero quarterback hits or sacks on 156 pass-blocking snaps.”"
The Cowboys offensive line had a difficult season in 2018. Although stalwarts like Smith and fellow five-time Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin where still in the starting lineup, All-Pro center Travis Frederick missed the entire year due to an autoimmune disease. Dallas also had a rookie, Connor Williams, starting eight games at left guard.
Injuries and inexperience plagued the Cowboys offensive line last season. But the entire group including Frederick appear to be set to return healthier in 2019. The team also added some much-needed depth, drafting Penn State center/guard Connor McGovern in the third round of this year’s draft.
As for Tyron Smith, he recently stated that he’s coming into this upcoming season faster and stronger along with being injury-free. That’s good news for the Dallas Cowboys, whose signature has been stellar offensive line play for that past few seasons. And it all started with the selection of a 20-year old rookie offensive tackle with the ninth overall pick in the first round of 2011 NFL Draft.
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