#77 Tyron Smith
Tyron Smith was born in Los Angeles, California on December 12, 1990. He played his collegiate football at the University of Southern California and is an offensive tackle in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him ninth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Tyron Smith attended Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, California. He was a standout athlete on both the football field and in track and field in his high school career.
In track and field, Smith competed in both shot put and discus. His top throws in his high school career were 14.23 m (46’7”) in the shot put and 46.62 m (152’10”) in discus. I guess that solves why he’s so capable of throwing around defensive lineman at the NFL level.
On the football field, Tyron Smith was a dominant player on both the offensive and defensive line.
In his sophomore season in 2005, Smith was an All-Southwestern League second team pick.
In 2006 as a junior, he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass second team, All-CIF Central Division first team, and Riverside Press-Enterprise All-Riverside County second team.
Tyron Smith’s senior season in 2007 was full of accomplishments:
- Parade All-American
- Super Prep All-American
- Scout.com All-American first team
- EA Sports All-American second team
- ESPN 150
- Super Prep elite 50
- Prep Star Dream Team
- Super Prep All-Farwest
- Prep Star All-West
- Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team
- Orange County Register Fab 15
- Tacoma News Tribune Western 100
- Cal-Hi All-State first team
- All-CIF Central Division first team
- Los Angeles Times All-Star
- Riverside Press-Enterprise All-Riverside County first team
- All-Inland Valley League first team
Tyron Smith was rated as a five-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. Rivals had Smith ranked as the No. 6 offensive tackle prospect, while Scout had him as the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect.
He committed to play collegiately at USC, despite numerous scholarship offers from other programs around the nation.
As a freshman in 2008, Tyron Smith appeared in 10 games and served as the backup left tackle, while also playing on special teams.
In 2009 as a sophomore, Tyron Smith started the first 12 games at right tackle for the Trojans, but had to miss the Boston College game because he was academically ineligible. In his second year of college, Smith made the 2009 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and CollegeFootballNews.com Sophomore All-American honorable mention.
Tyron Smith had surgery on his right thumb prior to the 2010 spring practices. He competed with Matt Kalil for the starting left tackle spot, but eventually lost out and went back to the right side. Smith won the Morris Trophy, awarded to the conference’s top offensive lineman, and he was also first team All-Pac-10.
Tyron Smith decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL Draft.
2011 NFL Draft
Tyron Smith was the first offensive lineman to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, going 9th overall to the Dallas Cowboys. He was the highest drafted OL since Jamaal Brown in 2005.
Smith was considered one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the entire 2011 draft class, along with Gabe Carimi, Nate Solder, and Anthony Castonzo.
Tyron Smith’s selection was a big deal for the Dallas Cowboys, who hadn’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since John Niland in 1966. In fact, he was the first offensive lineman drafted since Jerry Jones took over the Cowboys organization in 1989.
Tyron Smith was just a 20-year-old rookie entering the 2011 season. From day one of organized team activities (OTAs) he was named the starter at right tackle, which meant Doug Free would play the left side. His role with the team became even more important when the Cowboys decided to release veteran offensive linemen Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Andre Gurode, and Montrae Holland during the preseason.
In 2012, Smith moved from right to left tackle to protect quarterback Tony Romo’s blindside, meaning that Doug Free would move to the right side. He had his struggles, but ended up having a really solid 2012 season.
In his third year with the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, he committed just one holding penalty and allowed only one quarterback sack in 16 starts. He ended up being named to the 2013 Pro Bowl team coached by Jerry Rice.
In July of 2014, the Dallas Cowboys extended Tyron Smith and signed him to a new 8-year, $97.6 million dollar deal, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time.
He was the first offensive lineman in 10 years to be named the offensive player of the week for his play against the Seattle Seahawks, and was voted into his second Pro Bowl. Tyron Smith started all 16 games and helped running back DeMarco Murray lead the NFL in individual rushing yards, while also helping the Cowboys finish second in the NFL in rushing.
In 2015, Tyron Smith again started all 16 games and led the way for running back Darren McFadden, who finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. He was also voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
Despite having two years remaining on his rookie contract, the Dallas Cowboys decided to sign Tyron Smith to an 8-year, $97.6 million contract extension. He received a $10 million signing bonus and his 2014 and 2015 salaries were fully guaranteed.
The Cowboys restructured Smith’s contract in 2016 and converted $9 million of his $10 million base salary into a signing bonus. This created $7.2 million cap space in 2016 and $1.8 million to the next four year’s cap charges.
Tyron Smith will make an average of $12,200,000 per year and $22,118,013 million of his contract was fully guaranteed. His contract makes him the third-highest out of 74 left tackles in the NFL.
Should Gregory’s Potential Reinstatement Alter Cowboys Draft Plan?
A lot has happened with the Dallas Cowboys roster in a short period of time leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Just four days away now, the Cowboys are still adjusting to life without Dez Bryant, and may be preparing to welcome back Randy Gregory this season.
After months of speculation about the Cowboys' exiled pass rusher turning his life around for the better, the end result may be Gregory triumphantly returning to the field and filling a considerable position of need in Dallas.
Through Gregory's numerous absences from the Cowboys, the team has searched for temporary fixes at his right defensive end spot until drafting Taco Charlton in the first round last year. In his rookie season, Charlton looked much better at left end behind DeMarcus Lawrence than he ever did rushing against left tackles.
ALERT: Sources offer me very positive reports on #Cowboys DE @RandyGregory_4 coming bid for NFL reinstatement, as @BobbyBeltTX also notes. Randy Gregory has a chance to be a terrific story.
Randy Gregory can beat left tackles with speed and bend, but also has more career suspensions than he does sacks. Finding another defensive end with these traits in the draft could put the Cowboys defensive line over the top, but doing so with this year's class could cost them a pick better spent elsewhere.
Of course, this will be the case if Gregory does complete a comeback that the Cowboys have been understandably quiet about until recently. Stephen Jones has said the plan for Gregory is to apply for reinstatement following the draft.
The Cowboys "smart" approach of rebuilding their front four on defense as if Gregory would never see the field again has yielded them plenty of success - at all but the spot Gregory would line up at. DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Maliek Collins, and Taco Charlton should all inspire hope for this unit in 2018.
This is more than we were ever able to say about forgotten defenders like Benson Mayowa, who remains a free agent RDE.
The same can be said about prospects like Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport. At this point though, it feels like a priority draft pick spent at DE is a sudden sign of nervousness about Randy Gregory's return by the Cowboys.
This team has plenty of depth to deploy Rod Marinelli's patented "waves" of pass rushers, finally entering a season with an elite talent at DE too. The opportunity to have DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory attack opposing quarterbacks from opposite sides is a reality the Cowboys are prepared to work towards.
They should do so looking elsewhere early in the draft, coming back to defensive end if a developmental player they like falls.
Cowboys Quarterback is playing Moneyball
Money talks, and no one talks louder than the Dallas Cowboys. It’s hard to find a more affordable Pro Bowl player than Dak Prescott. A former fourth-round pick from Mississippi State, Prescott is only scheduled to make around $680,000 in 2018. It’s only his third year, but it may be his most important when it comes to his future with the Cowboys.
When a team drafts its franchise quarterback, they usually only get about two seasons to prove they’re "the guy."
Every year, teams draft someone, usually in the first round, with hopes that he'll be their sought after franchise quarterback. However, by being drafted so high, there’s little margin for error afforded to them.
In Dak Prescott’s case, being drafted outside the first round, he wasn’t expected to contribute near as much in his first two seasons as he has. A day-one starter for the then injured Tony Romo gave him his opportunity and he has made the most of it.
In two seasons, Dak Prescott has a 22-10 record, made the playoffs and Pro Bowl, completed 65.2% of his passes and has added a new dimension in the Cowboys offense thanks to his mobility in and out of the pocket. However, I wouldn’t be the first to tell you that his year two wasn’t as good as his year one was. Prescott lost four more games, completed fewer passes and more interceptions in year two.
To be fair, some of his issues attributed to the injury of Tyron Smith, Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and many of his receivers dropping more passes than we’ve previously seen. These issues will have to be cleaned up not only for the team, but for Dak Prescott’s future.
According to Spotrac.com, Dak Prescott’s market value today is around $25 million a year, which would make him among the most paid players in the league. In comparison, Kirk Cousins will be paid the most in the league at $28 million this year, while Aaron Rodgers will make $22 million.
So, the Cowboys quarterback's market value is among the best in the league.
Cowboys fans everywhere are rooting for him to succeed but year three will be crucial. If he can improve on his play from a year ago and keep winning games, he would likely see his extension happen sometime around his fourth season.
People have already seen Prescott at his highs and lows. Going into 2018 with a new receiving core, the return of Ezekiel Elliott and a new left guard will get rid of any excuses.
If Dak Prescott really is who he believes he is, and who fans know he can be, then the Cowboys have their quarterback. If not, then the search will continue.
Prescott should be plenty motivated to be the Cowboys quarterback for the present and the future. Also, he should be motivated by how much money he could get it.
It is a game, but it’s still a business. And C.R.E.A.M.
Teams that Could Ruin the Cowboys’ Draft Night
The 2018 NFL Draft is about to take place next Thursday inside Jerry Jones' AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Months and months of tremendous hard work are about to culminate into new football players for every NFL team. Once Roger Goodell announces the Cleveland Browns are on the clock, the strategies front offices have been working on will be put to the test.
But part of what makes this event such an special one for die-hard NFL fans are the unexpected turns that can occur from one pick to another. These may come in different forms. Sometimes a surprising trade happens or sometimes a prospect is drafted way earlier than people expected him to.
There are, however, picks and trades that hurt fans. Take last year, for example. Many in Cowboys Nation were ready for UCLA's DE Takkarist McKinley to fall to the 28th pick until Seahawks ended up trading their 26th pick to the Atlanta Falcons, who jumped over the Cowboys to land their guy, ultimately sending Taco Charlton to Dallas.
Things like that happen year after year in the NFL Draft. This is the offseason's Super Bowl! Crazy stuff can happen. Things not always go according to plan. Today, we'll discuss the teams that could ruin the Cowboys' draft night.
Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens
The Cowboys could be looking for a first-round wide receiver at 19, including Alabama's Calvin Ridley. Now, as we mentioned before, nothing is certain in the NFL Draft. Despite Ridley's talent and ability to get open, some question whether he'll fall all the way to 19.
The thing is, there are a couple of teams who could very well be targeting Ridley before the Cowboys turn.
The Arizona Cardinals, picking at 15, may be looking to find a new wide receiver to rely on now that Larry Fitzgerald's career is getting closer and closer to its end. They also could target a quarterback there, but WR is a very strong possibility. Sam Bradford will need weapons if he's to be the team's starting quarterback.
As for the Ravens, even after adding Michael Crabtree, they should be trying to get Joe Flacco all the help they can. The Ravens may be the team that will most likely end up drafting Calvin Ridley come Draft Day.
DJ Moore could also be the receiver in question and could go earlier than expected to any of these teams, ruining the Cowboys' search for a WR in the first round.
Los Angeles Chargers
Sitting at 17 is a football team with similar needs to those of America's Team. Despite counting with premium pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers could 100% use an upgrade in their interior defensive line.
Vita Vea is expected to go early in the Draft but he could fall just because of the fact that he's a 1-technique DT and positional value tends to make players slide in this process. Da'Ron Payne from Alabama could also be a player the Chargers target here if Vea is gone.
The Cowboys should be interested in upgrading their DT position as well, and could see the Chargers take their guy just two picks ahead of them.
Los Angeles will look for a top-tier safety if they find one worthy of a first-round pick. Derwin James is one hell of a football player, but some consider he doesn't have a true home in the secondary. If James slides, Dallas should consider moving up to get him and the Chargers may be the reason why.
The Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks may be the team that hurt the Cowboys cause the most this coming week. Sitting at the 18th spot, one pick before Dallas', Seattle will most likely be entertaining trade down talks. Without a pick in the second or the third round of the Draft, they should be desperately looking for ammunition.
This offseason, the team parted ways with many key players on their roster, including veteran CB Richard Sherman. For a team that's entering some sort of rebuilding situation, draft picks will be something they crave.
Any team looking to jump over Dallas sitting at 19 will be making telephones ring in Seattle.
The NFL Draft is always a fun topic for discussion and potential scenarios talk. Sadly, it's about to come to an end. Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to get you fresh Cowboys content throughout the offseason.
For now, it's still Draft season.
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