New ESPN mock draft could spell end of road for Tyron Smith with Cowboys
By Jerry Trotta
The 2023 NFL Draft is currently all the rage for all but two teams in the league. With prospects putting their skills to the test in the Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl the past two weeks, Dallas Cowboys talking heads and fans have been developing draft crushes left and right at a multitude of positions.
The offensive line is a big talking point surrounding the Cowboys for a myriad of reasons. Will Tyler Smith be the Week 1 left tackle? What does Terence Steele’s recovery look like? With Tyron Smith seemingly set on playing another season, will he be back as a key part of the line after he missed all but four games in 2022?
These are all questions the front office will have to address between now and the start of the new league year, as well as the draft.
Depending how the board falls, the Cowboys could justify drafting the best prospect available at the following positions: wide receiver, cornerback, offensive line, and (whispers) running back amid the Bijan Robinson buzz and hype.
In ESPN’s Matt MIller’s new mock, he has the Cowboys going a direction that could spell the end of the road for Tyron Smith with the organization.
Cowboys take Florida OL O’Cyrus Torrence in new ESPN mock draft. What does this mean for Tyron Smith?
Miller has the Cowboys taking Florida OL O’Cyrus Torrence in the first round (pick No. 26 overall). In this mock, the consensus top receivers — USC’s Jordan Addison, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, TCU’s Quentin Johnson, and Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, respectively — are off the board before Dallas is on the clock.
Boston College standout Zay Flowers doesn’t go until No. 35 overall, but Cowboys fans shouldn’t balk at the Torrence pick. The Gators mauler was arguably the top-performing prospect at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and is an absolute people-mover in the run game at 6-foot-5 and 337 pounds.
Here’s what Miller said of the selection:
"One of the top performers during Senior Bowl week was Torrence, my top-ranked player in Mobile. The 6-foot-5, 337-pound right guard was dominant in one-on-one drills throughout the week, showing an aggressive ability in the run game. But what was most impressive during the week was his ability in pass protection, where his length showed up as pass-rushers were unable to consistently get around him. The Cowboys’ offensive line is in flux, but the addition of Torrence would allow Tyler Smith to play left tackle full time while improving the team’s overall offensive line play. The Gators’ big man allowed just one sack in 2022."
One sack while playing in the SEC? While Torrence didn’t face the conference’s elite edge rushers as an interior lineman, it speaks volumes about his ability to transition to the NFL that he allowed just eight pressures and one quarterback hit while committing zero penalties in college football’s premier conference.
Should the Cowboys take Torrence, they could make Tyler Smith the full-time left tackle, and start Torrence at right guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at left guard, and Steele (when healthy) or possibly Jason Peters — Jerry Jones said Peters would be back in 2023 — to start while Steele finishes his rehab.
At that point, the Cowboys could release Smith and save $13.6 million in cap space, while absorbing just $4.005 million in dead money.
Something to think about after Torrence’s dominant showing in Mobile.