Cowboys: Smith’s tale of two seasons
Left tackle Tyron Smith received first team All-Pro honors this week, ahead of 12 other tackles who garnered at least one vote. Smith is our sixth-ranked tackle in overall grading but voters overlooked his mid-season woes in favor of exceptional play later in the year.
Going into the Cowboys’ Week 11 bye, Smith didn’t appear to be on track for All-Pro recognition. He had been solid as a pass blocker (+6.5) but had just come off a string of sub-par run blocking performances that left him with a +1.1 overall grade and outside the Top 25 in our rankings.
Week 12 through Week 17 was a different story though. Smith bullied defenders with a league-leading +15.8 run blocking grade, stayed strong in pass protection, and posted career-high overall game grades of +5.3 in Week 16 and +6.3 in Week 17.
Left tackles always seemed to be judged primarily on how they protect their quarterbacks – but Smith’s All-Pro selection suggests run blocking and late-season surges are factors as well.