1. Tyler Smith
With the Cowboys more than likely wanting to solve the tackle issue internally, this year’s No. 24 overall pick Tyler Smith is the leading candidate for the starting left tackle job. This wasn’t what the Joneses had in mind as far as how quickly they were going to play Smith at the tackle position, but they never properly prepared for this scenario.
While the Tulsa product isn’t the worst option to cover for Tyron Smith, it most certainly isn’t ideal that this is currently the case. Don’t get me wrong, Tyler is a good blocker, but the technical issues, which lead to holds, just haven’t been fully addressed yet. Not only that, but he has been working primarily at left guard all offseason.
The first-round pick was graded as one of the best run-blocking tackles in college last season by PFF, but he remains a project as a pass-blocker. In preseason play, he has only played snaps at guard so far. Unfortunately, he won’t be playing in tomorrow’s preseason game due to an ankle injury, so the team can’t even try to give him some left tackle snaps.
I feel the team will wait until after the final preseason game to decide what to do at the left tackle spot. They more than likely will make it a competition between Tyler Smith, Josh Ball, and even Aviante Collins before looking at outside options. If that is the case, let’s hope someone really steps up, or really drops the ball to the point where the front office has to add another name to the mix. Hoping for the best has gotten the front office nowhere lately. It’s time to start picking up the phone.