The Tennessee Titans selected Tyler Smith with the No. 6 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, passing on Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne who was projected to go at least 30 picks earlier. Jones defended his decision by stating that he used a number of film evaluations and metrics before deciding on Smith.

Football fans would have required luck or knowledge of the internet’s most obscure corners in the days leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft to come across a mock draft that didn’t show the Dallas Cowboys picking a receiver or a pass-rusher.

That proves what we already know.

Dallas not only shocked many by drafting an offensive lineman, but they also chose Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith over Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, who was generally regarded as the better prospect. Despite only starting two seasons at Tulsa, the 6-foot-5, 324-pound Smith won All-AAC accolades both years and regularly excelled as a run-blocker.

The days immediately after the draft are ideal for questioning every pick, even those made late in the seventh round. Cowboys executive Jones, Stephen addressed worries about the Cowboys’ commitment in Smith, who will play his whole rookie season at 21 years old, during a recent interview on Mike Florio’s PFT PM show.

Jones, on the other hand, is trying to remain upbeat, and he feels Smith’s potential is “tremendous.”

“We simply think his skill set lends itself to his being able to play top, top left tackle at some time.” Tyron Smith is clearly one of the greatest in the industry for him to learn from. Tyler Smith will undoubtedly see the field in a variety of different situations. He’ll be a competitor on the left side, at left guard and left tackle.”

Jones, Stephen

Jones stated the Cowboys chose Smith over Linderbaum, the reigning Rimington Award winner (best center), because of his flexibility. Despite the fact that Linderbaum is solely projected as an interior lineman in the NFL and is set to start as the Baltimore Ravens’ starting center next season, Smith can play outside or inside.

Though the Cowboys have not confirmed Smith’s rookie position, Jones’ words suggest the Tulsa product will battle for it. The former left guard, Connor Williams, joined with the Miami Dolphins in free agency.

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Tyler Smith poses with head coach Mike McCarthy (L) and owner Jerry Jones in 2022.

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Tyler Smith poses with head coach Mike McCarthy (L) and owner Jerry Jones in 2022. Dallas Cowboys executive Jones, Stephen has high hopes for rookie offensive lineman Tyler Smith | Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Tyler Smith’s arrival also opens the door for veteran left tackle Tyron Smith to join the Cowboys (no relation). Last year, he missed six games due to ankle ailments, and he will miss all but two games in 2020 due to a nagging neck issue. In each of the previous six seasons, the two-time first-team All-Pro has missed at least one game.

The older Smith, who will be 32 in December, has a deal that runs through the 2024 season.

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Tyler Biadasz, a Cowboys center, talks about blocking for Ezekiel Elliott and Jonathan Taylor.

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