4. We saw the side of Tyler Smith we didn’t want to see
After several weeks of really solid and fairly disciplined play, first-round pick Tyler Smith faced his toughest task of the year to this point, and maybe the toughest task he will have in his career: trying to slow down Aaron Donald.
Up until this Sunday, Smith had done a fantastic job of filling in for future Hall of Fame tackle Tyron Smith. The rookie allowed just one sack on 150 pass-blocking attempts. However, he struggled mightily against another future Hall of Famer in Donald.
Most of his struggles came in the first half, allowing two sacks to the elite edge rusher. He was also called for two holding penalties before the staff opted to give the rookie some help, whether it was having Ezekiel Elliott in pass protection or another tight end on that side.
This is a good way for Smith to learn. He’s far from perfect, but iron sharpens iron. He will remember this battle against Donald and use it as motivation for the future. For now, he is still a rookie and should feel lucky it wasn’t worse than what it ended up being.