Since entering the NFL in 2011, Tyron Smith has built a reputation as one of the best left tackles in football. He helped retired Quarterback Tony Romo set a franchise-record with 4,903 passing yards in 2012 and was one of the anchors for Dak Prescott who came within one yard of typing that record in 2019 when the Cowboys possessed the league’s top-ranked offense. Also, he’s assisted in blocking for some pretty impressive seasons by running backs. In 2014 DeMarco Murray set a franchise record with 1,845 rushing yards and Ezekiel Elliott has won two rushing titles in his first four seasons due in large part to Smith’s dominance.
This type of consistency has Smith receiving some high praise entering his 10th season. In ESPN’s series of ranking the top 10 players at every position, Smith was named the league’s top offensive tackle for 2020.
“Watched him closely and was expecting a dropoff in play, but it’s not there, ” said one NFC exec. “He’s got the injury stuff. But when he’s healthy and on, he’s still really, really good. He’s still on another planet as far as a dominant two-phase player.
If you’re thinking this ranking was based on reputation only then you’re sadly mistaken.
“He’s a little like Joe Thomas in that you think you can get him, that he’s older and beat up, and when you play him and you’re taking shots and you’re reminded this guy is a beast,” said one of the league’s offensive coaches.
Despite missing three games for the fourth consecutive season Smith was selected to his seventh straight Pro Bowl in 2019. He played his most snaps since 2015 (882) and committed his fewest penalties since 2016 (7). Smith only one sack all of last season.
In addition to ESPN’s list Smith also finished third for all offensive tackles in CBS Sports ranking of the best offensive linemen for the 2020 season, and undoubtedly had a lot to do with Pro Football Focus selecting the Cowboys offensive line as the third-best league-wide.
Even with nagging injuries plaguing him Smith is still considered by many as the gold standard when it comes to offensive tackles in the NFL. Expect another Pro Bowl worthy showing from him in 2020.