Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys player profiles: With Doug Free gone, Dallas may need Tyron Smith to step up in this area – Dallas Cowboys News

Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys player profiles: With Doug Free gone, Dallas may need Tyron Smith to step up in this area – Dallas Cowboys News

This is an ongoing series breaking down key players on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster.

TYRON SMITH

Position: Left tackle

Size: 6-5, 320

Age when season starts: 26

College: USC

Drafted: 1st round in 2011 (No. 9 overall)

Experience: Entering his seventh season

Contract status: Signed through 2023

2016 recap: Tyron Smith continued to establish himself as arguably the best left tackle in the NFL in 2016, earning his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl nod.

Smith was dominant again last year despite playing most of the season with a bulging disc in his back. The injury led to him missing three games. He had missed only one game the first five years of his career.

Smith earned first-team All-Pro honors for the second time in his career in 2016.

2017 outlook: Smith is now the veteran among the Cowboys’ offensive linemen after right tackle Doug Free retired this offseason.

Smith avoided offseason surgery on his injured back and is healthy again, helping to tutor first-round draft pick defensive end Taco Charlton in offseason practices the way defensive end DeMarcus Ware helped Smith early in his career.

Smith isn’t the vocal type, but he may need to assume more of a leadership role among the Cowboys with Free gone.

Previous installments

Travis Frederick | Zack Martin | Tyron Smith

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