2. Tyler Smith
You can’t say enough good things about what Tyler Smith has done in his rookie season. With many people skeptical about the pick on Draft Day, Smith has proved the doubters wrong.
Smith has been everything the Cowboys had hoped for when they drafted him: physical, strong, and the ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line. He has done all that and more this season, especially in the Wild Card game on Monday.
He started the game at left guard against the Buccaneers. But, when Jason Peters left the game early with an injury, Smith then switched to left tackle and Connor McGovern went to left guard.
Playing multiple positions is nothing new for Smith this season. The 21-year-old lineman has stepped in at right tackle, left tackle, and left guard all this year.
With Peters currently nursing a hip injury and is listed as a did not practice on Wednesday’s Cowboys walkthrough, his status for Sunday is uncertain. That means Smith might be getting the start at left tackle on Sunday and having the responsibility of stopping Nick Bosa.
Bosa, the favorite to win defensive player of the year, has been unstoppable this year. So, Smith is going to have to be at his best to try and limit the 49ers’ star edge rusher.
With Smith’s arrival, there’s been a clear difference this year compared to last year for the Cowboys’ offensive line. They have been more physical and Smith has been a key addition to the line. But he’s got to carry that physicality into this game and stop Bosa.