The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 9. Dak Prescott and Co. have preached that they aren't taking any moral victories from the defeat, but fans and analysts alike can absolutely hold onto some silver linings.
For starters, we got to see peak Tyron Smith on Sunday. It's anyone's guess how many more games of that we have left, so it was great to watch.
While Smith turned back the clock, left guard Tyler Smith continued to prove he's one of the best young offensive lineman in the league regardless of position.
In a game where the Eagles had 25 pass rush wins, Smith allowed just two pressures in 24 matchups against rookie sensation Jalen Carter, per Next Gen Stats. Additionally, Carter got the best of Smith just once across 13 one-on-one matchups.
It gets better. Smith's 3.3% allowed pressure rate this season is the lowest among left guards who've played at least 150 pass-blocking snaps.
Cowboys LG Tyler Smith dominated Eagles rookie Jalen Carter in Week 9
Read it and weep, Eagles fans. Smith's dominant showing in 2023 goes beyond locking up Carter in Week 9, however.
According to Pro Football Focus, Smith's four allowed pressures are tied for the second-fewest among guards. His 99.0 pass-blocking efficiency is second at the position and his three allowed hurries are tied for third-fewest. To top it all off, he's only allowed one sack and still hasn't conceded a QB hit.
That's utter domination, folks. While penalties are still an issue for Smith -- his seven flags are tied for the sixth-most of any guard or tackle -- that will improve with time. The Cowboys are obviously happy to trade a couple of false starts or holdings for clogging up the trenches against elite defensive tackles.
The fact Smith was this dominant against Carter just underlines his potential. While Smith cooled Carter's Defensive Rookie of the Year discourse for the time being, there's seemingly nothing standing in Carter's way of taking home the hardware.
Only three DL have pressured the QB at a higher rate than Carter's 18%. He also leads all rookies (including edge rushers) with 29 pressures and has posted an impressive five sacks, 20 hurries and seven defensive stops, per PFF.
Long story short, nobody's been able to stop Carter this season. Enter Smith, the Tulsa product whom multiple draft prognosticators believed the Cowboys reached on with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2022 draft.
Smith is already established as one of the best LGs in the sport just 23 games into his career. An All-Pro season isn't out of the realm of possibility for the 22-year-old. He could put a stamp on that if he locks up Carter again in Week 14.