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Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Day One Grade

With day one of the NFL draft in the books, the Dallas Cowboys have their guy. It was definitely not who everyone thought but oh well right? With the 24th pick in the first round, Dallas selected Tyler Smith an offensive tackle out of Tulsa. Let’s take a look at where he fits into this system and grade this draft pick.

Pick Grade: C+

I definitely did not expect Dallas to take Smith at 24. With guys like Jermaine Johnson, Tyler Linderbaum, and George Karlaftis around, this shocked me. Smith was penalized quite a bit last season which is the opposite of what Dallas needed. However, Smith is a plug-and-play type guy who can play tackle and even get reps at guard.

A plus to this pick is that Smith was graded a 93.9 run-blocking grade in 2021. That is the highest run block grade ever by a player from the AAC. Smith needs some work to develop into a true NFL talent. There were easily better options on the board but Dallas chose to go with a guy who they felt fit better. I give this pick a C+ grade simply because Smith has a lot of development before he’s an elite lineman.

Initial Reaction

To be quite frank, I do not approve of this pick. Did Dallas go O-line like they needed to? Yes, but not with a guy anyone expected until the second round. However, Smith does have the skill set to eventually become a starting lineman. Dallas easily could’ve taken a better player at the time. The only role I see Smith fitting into is reps at left guard and eventually replacing Tyron Smith should he pan out.

I can gripe and complain all I want but the truth is that Dallas filled a need. Depth on the O-line was a must-have pick and Dallas took it. Only time will tell at this point what Smith will become for Dallas. He brings the right intangibles and overall skill set but he is nowhere near perfect. Let’s hope Joe Philbin, the Cowboys’ O-line coach, can turn him into another Pro Bowl/All-Pro talent. Philbin is still rather new to the coaching staff but if he can flip this pick into a success story, I’ll cheer for him all day long.

Which position should Dallas target next in the draft? Comment below and join the discussion!

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