3. Tyler Smith
Remember when the Cowboys drafted Tyler Smith? The critics didn’t hesitate to question the selection. Then, a few months later, veteran and future hall of famer Tyron Smith went down with a hamstring injury, and the rookie Smith was forced to step in at left tackle.
By the end of the season it became clear the Cowboys have their new franchise left tackle. While Smith was penalized 13 times last season -- not out of the ordinary for a rookie -- Smith allowed just six sacks, 11 hits, and 39 pressures, per Pro Football Focus. That is very impressive for a player who didn’t even start camp or preseason as the left tackle.
The importance, however, will be his reliability. Smith will likely step in at left guard, where he was originally supposed to play last season. If Tyron Smith goes down, the Cowboys know they can count on their young second-year lineman to step up again.
The younger Smith's inclusion might be a surprise for some fans, but he's the single greatest insurance behind Tyron Smith, who's played 17 of a possible 50 regular season games since 2019.