The 15 greatest first-round picks in Dallas Cowboys history
By Randy Gurzi
7. Tyron Smith, OT, 2011
Jason Garrett took over as the head coach in Dallas halfway through the 2010 season. Then in 2011, he got to work rebuilding the team in his image.
Ironically enough, he was labeled as a “puppet” for Jones, with those critics saying Garrett only had a job since the owner could tell him what to do. This take is comical for two reasons. One is that every single owner can tell the coach what to do, and to think none other than Jones has a say in things is ludicrous.
Two, Garrett actually had more influence over the Cowboys’ front office moves than any other coach under Jones’s ownership. This was evident from the start as Garrett claimed the way to win in the NFL was to dominate the trenches with a powerful offensive line, then used several first-round picks to build up that line.
That might not sound like much, but the fact is, Jones had never once taken an offensive lineman in Round 1 since buying the team in 1989. With Garrett, they did so three times from 2011 through 2014 — starting with Tyron Smith from USC.
In an absolutely loaded class, the Cowboys took Smith at No. 9 overall and started him at right tackle. At just 20 years old, Smith already could hold his own in the NFL and by his second season, he moved to the left side, where he has been ever since.
Now in 2022, Smith is still the blindside protector in Big D. He’s arguably one of the top-five in the game at his position and the only thing that has ever slowed him down is nagging injuries. Even with the missed time, he was still an excellent selection that has been a fixture for more than a decade.