2011 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons the Dallas Cowboys Will Draft USC OT Tyron Smith

Jonathan BalesAnalyst IApril 12, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans, flanked by Tyron Smith #70 and Ronald Johnson #83, runs off the field after the Trojans scored a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 18, 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

5.  Patrick Peterson Is Not Going To Drop

Peterson is No. 1 on the Cowboys’ board and you can bet Jerry Jones wants to make a splash by drafting him.  If Peterson somehow drops to the Browns at No. 6, look for the ‘Boys to make a move.

The chances of Peterson dropping, however, are remote.  All five teams ahead of Cleveland have some kind of interest in Peterson, with Cincinnati being a sleeper.  Cornerback Jonathan Joseph is a free agent and a Peterson/Leon Hall tandem could be dynamite.  

Even though Jerry loves headline players, he isn’t going to sacrifice his entire 2011 draft to jump into the top five.  There are simply too many holes on this Cowboys squad.

4.  Smith Is the Future of Offensive Tackles

If this was 1995, Smith might not be a top-20 selection.  He never played at more than 285 pounds and, as a finesse offensive tackle, a lot of teams would have shied away from Smith.

Fast forward to 2011, though, and Smith is all the rage.  With some NFL teams approaching a 70-percent pass rate, slim, athletic tackles like Smith are in vogue.

For the ‘Boys, the opportunity to run more screens, tosses and counters to the right side of the field (plays that used to be all but off-limits) will be valuable.

3.  Sam Young and Robert Brewster Are Projects

The Cowboys have a lot of hope for Young, while Brewster played okay at right tackle (not left tackle) in the 2010 preseason.  Still, these aren’t yet players whom Dallas can trust as starters.  Developing both players (especially Young) behind a guy like Smith would give the 'Boys a formidable backup in the event that Smith (or Doug Free) gets injured.

2.  Smith Has Experience at Right Tackle, but Can Play Both Tackle Positions

With Free playing well on the left side, the Cowboys would likely want Smith to play on the right side.  Despite his “small” stature, that is actually where Smith gained experience in college.  

His versatility, though, would allow him to be a “swing” tackle for Dallas—he would start at right tackle, but move to the left side if Free should get hurt, allowing Young to move into the right tackle spot.  As of now, the Cowboys have no suitable backup to Free.

1.  Marc Colombo

This is really the only reason needed.  Colombo allowed nine sacks, 11 hits and a ridiculous 40 quarterback pressures in 2010.  With a 63 percent in my 2010 Offensive Line Grades, he received the worst grade I have ever given a Cowboys player.  He needs to be replaced, and Smith is the top candidate to fill in.