#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.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Needs: Defensive Tackle
After the Dallas Cowboys gave up 273 rushing yards in last season's playoff loss to the Rams, the defensive tackle position became a greater concern for 2019. It's one of the key spots that Dallas may address in this week's NFL Draft.
It's unfair to allow one game to paint the entire picture. Before going to Los Angeles, things were looking good at DT with solid play from Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods. We weren't even bemoaning the absence of David Irving; the Cowboys' defense had emerged as one of the top groups in the league.
But then Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson ran wild, and now it's left folks wondering if Dallas is going to be able to stand up to the elite teams in the NFL without some better talent in the middle of their defensive line.
Collins and Woods are back in 2019, and veteran Tyrone Crawford should be used more at DT this year now that Robert Quinn here to play defensive end. Dallas also signed free agent Christian Covington from Houston to add to their interior rotation, plus re-signed Daniel Ross for depth.
It's a solid group, but none of these players can claim to be a game-changer at this point. There are high hopes for what Antwaun Woods might be evolving into, but that's hardly guaranteed.
Not only could the Cowboys stand to add more talent to the mix, but they may need to draft someone now in preparation for the future.
Assuming everyone sticks around in 2019, next year could see a mass exodus from the current DT depth chart. Crawford is likely to be a salary cap casualty while Collins and Covington will be unrestricted free agents.
Even Ross and Woods will technically be free agents, but they will be under the Restricted and Exclusive Rights designations so Dallas can easily keep them if they choose to.
Clearly, though, the Cowboys should be thinking ahead when it comes to their defensive tackles and this draft. And their second-round pick, 58th overall, may give them an opportunity to get better now and find a long-term answer.
True, Dallas has not typically used high picks at the DT position. The third-round pick they spent in Maliek Collins in 2016 was the highest since Willie Blade was a third-round pick in 2001 (Crawford and Jason Hatcher were originally drafted as 3-4 defensive ends).
But this 2019 presents some unique circumstances. Dallas is covered at almost all of their "glamour" positions; it's rare they don't have a crucial need for a WR, CB, DE, or some other position of greater notoriety.
Plus, you could make a case for DT being the most pivotal need on the entire roster. It depends on how you feel about the current talent at safety and tight end, but you could make a case for the interior defensive line needing an upgrade as badly as any spot on the team.
Because of comparable need at positions like TE and S, the Cowboys aren't going to reach to fill any position. They will only take a player who they feel offers great value.
One guy who could fall to the 58th pick is Dexter Lawrence from Clemson, a mammoth DT at 6'4" and over 340 lbs. He's not only a run-stuffer but has shown the athletic ability to even get into the backfield at times.
It's going to take that kind of player to make Dallas pull the trigger on a DT in the second round. But even if it doesn't happen then, you can expect someone to probably get drafted somewhere in the team's earlier picks.
Because of their 2019 depth, Dallas might also be willing to take a chance on Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State. He has an ACL injury from the combine which might cost him most of this year, but Simmons is a first-round talent.
As we saw a few years ago with Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys are willing to take the risk for those kind of players. And Simmons' prognosis isn't nearly as dangerous as Jaylon's was.
However it goes, defensive tackle is certainly a position of need for the 2019 Dallas Cowboys. Despite their history, don't be surprised if they draft one high this weekend.
Draft Likelihood: 90%
Projected Round: 3rd-4th
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Other Draft Needs Articles
Cowboys Draft: DT is Unlikely at #58
The draft needs have been discussed. You've read the mock drafts. The Dallas Cowboys have put their draft board together. Now all that's left to be done is for the Cowboys to go and draft football players.
The NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night, but the Dallas Cowboys won't go on the clock -- unless a dramatic trade up occurs -- until Friday night when the second round begins. There's been a ton of speculation on who the Dallas Cowboys could select when they eventually get their turn to add to their roster.
Positions like safety, wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, and cornerback have all mentioned in line with the Cowboys selection at pick 58. Though anything is possible, it's unlikely that the interior defensive line will be the direction the Cowboys go with their second round pick.
You have no further to look than the Dallas Cowboys draft history since 2011 when Head Coach Jason Garrett entered his first draft with the club as their permanent head coach.
|8||2014||2||34||Demarcus Lawrence||DE||22||2014||2018||0||2||3||33||64||47||1||34.0||Boise St.|
|10||2014||7||251||Ken Bishop||DT||23||2014||2015||0||0||0||0||5||0||Northern Illinois|
|11||2012||3||81||Tyrone Crawford||DE||22||2012||2018||0||0||5||31||92||74||22.0||Boise St.|
Since Jason Garrett took over as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, they have only drafted four defensive tackles. Tyrone Crawford, who was drafted as a 3-4 defensive end in 2012, has been more of a hybrid player. But if we consider him an interior defensive lineman, then the Cowboys have only selected five interior defensive linemen in eight seasons. Only twice did they use a pick higher than the seventh round on an interior defensive lineman. 2012, when they selected Tyrone Crawford in the third round with the 81st pick in the draft. Then in 2016, they took Maliek Collins with the 67th overall pick of the third round.
Every other defensive tackle choice has been in the seventh round. Compare that to the defensive end position. On the EDGE, the Cowboys have selected six players, only one of them being a seventh round pick. Of their six defensive end selections, one was in the first round, two were in the second (Randy Gregory not listed), two were in the fourth, one was in the fifth, and one was in the seventh.
The Cowboys have used picks in just about every round to find their defensive end rotation, but have been reluctant to spend premium picks on a defensive tackle.
Generally, Rod Marinelli gets blamed for the lack of value placed on the interior defensive line, and some of that is true. Since Marinelli became the defensive coordinator in 2014, the Cowboys have only selected three interior defensive linemen. Maliek Collins was the only one of the three not selected in the seventh round.
Every other Rod Marinelli-era defensive tackle addition has been in search of a diamond in the rough. They found it, though temporarily, with David Irving and have apparently done so again with Antwaun Woods. The additions of Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder -- who played on the interior for Matt Patricia's 3-4 defense in Detroit -- seem to be further attempts to find rotational players at a low cost.
This year's NFL Draft has really good depth at defensive tackle. While a lot of the names at the top like Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver have gotten most of the hype, there are players in the third through seventh rounds that could be week one impact players. Whether it's a Trysten Hill, Gerald Willis, Charles Omenihu, or Renell Wren in the second or third, or a Kingsley Keke in the fourth or fifth, the Cowboys will likely have options when attacking the defensive tackle position in the draft.
With a lot of their pre-draft visitors coming at the safety and wide receiver position, it seems much more likely that the team will allocate their second round pick to upgrade one of those position groups. Considering the contracts of Byron Jones and Robert Quinn are up after the 2019 season, it's possible that the Cowboys even look at cornerback or cornerback with the 58th overall pick.
The Cowboys are pretty deep at the defensive tackle position with Antwaun Woods and Christian Covington your primary 1-technique defensive tackles and Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford, and Kerry Hyder your primary 3-technique defensive tackles. Unless someone like a Jeffrey Simmons, Dexter Lawrence, or Christian Wilkins falls to them or within striking distance of a trade up, expect the Cowboys to use their first pick in the draft at a different position.
Cowboys Draft: Final Wishlist For 58th Overall
With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, the shortlist of prospects for the Cowboys to target with their first selection grows narrower and narrower.
Now, when the Cowboys come on the clock Friday night, fans will have a clear idea about which group of players they'd like to see the Cowboys choose from. Will they look for an athletic defensive back with "Swiss-Army Knife" type ability? Or a hard-nosed defensive lineman who can win with effort and power?
Right now, it's all speculation, but here is my personal wishlist for the Dallas Cowboys at 58th overall.
Find Yourself A Safety
Specifically, land either Washington's Taylor Rapp or Virginia's Juan Thornhill. The Cowboys won't be able to control which, if either, is available when they come to the podium, but both would provide their defense with something different.
Taylor Rapp is more of what the Cowboys need right now. He can play strong safety, he can play in the box, and he should be a solid professional and have a nice career. Juan Thornhill, though, is the one I see with a gigantic upside.
His athletic profile puts him in elite category, and his tape is more than good enough to justify a top 50 pick, let alone finding him at 58. Thornhill is the more versatile defensive back, while Rapp fits the "strong safety" prototype much more traditionally.
Either way the Cowboys will be making an excellent selection if they add one of these two players to their roster. Hopefully, they'll be available at the end of round two, but I'm certainly more skeptical about Rapp making it there.
Let's Beef Up The Trenches
This, on my wishlist, means taking either Boston College's Zach Allen or UCF's Trysten Hill.
It would be a bit of reach to grab Hill here, admittedly, but he's a good player that would fill a need of sorts right away. The Cowboys made some moves to help out the interior of their defensive line throughout free agency, but drafting a young gun is never a bad idea. I'd be more comfortable taking him at 90, but certainly won't be mad about it at 58.
While Trysten Hill might be considered a reach at 58, Zach Allen could be a steal. The 6'4" 280 pound defensive end is stout against the run, setting the edge and playing physically against offensive tackles, but he also offers upside as a pass rusher as well. His strength, effort, and heavy hands are impressive both against the run and pass.
You can never have enough talent across the defensive line, and both Zach Allen and Trysten Hill would give the Cowboys just that.
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