Friday, May 31, 2013
Pro Bowl is still the goal for LT Tyron Smith
By Calvin Watkins
FRISCO, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys selected left tackle Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick of the 2011 NFL draft, it was of the expectation that big things would happen in the future.
At the time, Smith said he wanted to be more than a Pro Bowl player. Well, after finishing second in the NFL with seven false start penalties last season, his expectations are still high.
"The longer you're in it, there's always going to be high expectations," Smith said at a charity event Thursday. "You obviously have to have high expectations for yourself."
What about the Pro Bowl, which hasn't happened yet?
"It's always going to be the goal for me to get to that point," Smith said. "And to get even higher than that."
The "higher than that" part of his answer is interesting. The Cowboys have reduced the salary of right tackle Doug Free, who will have to battle for his starting job with Jermey Parnell. And Phil Costa, last season's starting center, has seemingly been replaced by rookie Travis Frederick, the team's first-round pick. Starting guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau remain on the team, but will be pushed by several younger players.
Which leaves us with Smith, who is supposed to be the anchor of this unit.
Smith improved as last season progressed and it left you wanting more. The penalties should concern fans, but the three sacks allowed should be comforting because you know he's not a liability to the offensive line.
Smith said he's added some weight and muscle and is now between 310 and 315 pounds after playing at 308 in 2012.
Another season under offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan should also help Smith.
"It's kind of like everybody knows what to get done, and we know (Callahan's) expectations," Smith said. "So we're picking up on what we did last year and trying to grow from that."