Tyron Smith means so much to the Dallas Cowboys. Top-end starters at left tackle are beyond invaluable in this league to protect franchise quarterbacks. Smith is that guy for the Cowboys, but he also means so much more to the rest of Dallas’ star-studded offensive line.
Since 2011, the Dallas Cowboys have been determined to build the league’s most dominant offensive line by investing a run of first round picks into the unit. Tyron Smith was the first domino to fall in this team building strategy, selected out of USC with the 9th overall pick that year by the Cowboys.
Offensive line picks are typically regarded as the safest route to go in the first round of the NFL draft, but imagine if Tyron Smith had turned out to be a rare flop at tackle in the top ten? Would the Cowboys have been deterred from selecting Travis Frederick two years later, and starting right guard Zack Martin the next?
The class act that is Tyron Smith has been nothing short of spectacular since stepping onto the field for the Cowboys, and is now ready to once again lead this offensive line in 2016. Collectively, the unit is going be sensing some added pressure to pave a path for 21 year old rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott to dominate on the ground.
They will also be trying to protect Tony Romo from as many hits as possible, as the entire organization saw first hand how important his health is to their success. Tyron Smith has absolutely done his part in prolonging the career as well as maximizing the production of his quarterback.
Since stepping in as a starter for the Cowboys in 2011, Smith has faced some talented pass rushers within the NFC East. I crunched some numbers, and found out that the average sack output for the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins – the teams Tyron has faced 6 times a year since 2011 – is 38 per season during that span.
Also since 2011, those 38 sacks would consistently put the Cowboys’ NFC East competition into the top 15 when it comes to NFL sack totals. Outside of NFC East competition, in the Cowboys’ lone playoff win since 2011, Smith did not allow a sack during the home win against Lions. Coming into that game, the Lions were 10th in the league in sacks throughout the regular season.
Simply put, football games are won in the trenches. It is essential for every team to protect their own quarterback while pressuring the oppositions if they want to have a chance on Sundays. When it comes to protecting the quarterback and leading an offensive line, it doesn’t get much better than Tyron Smith.
Cowboys Nation should root for the team’s defensive line to someday match the quality of their offensive line, one that will feature left tackle Tyron Smith for the next eight seasons.
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