- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Dallas Cowboys signed their first-round pick Thursday to a four-year, $12.5 million deal with a team option for a fifth season.
Smith, the ninth pick of the NFL draft out of USC, had some rookie moments in his first practice. He was taken out after a false start and was beaten off the snap by Ware for a sack during the afternoon practice at the Alamodome.
"Very challenging," Smith said of going up against Ware. "As it goes along, I'm going to start picking it up and hopefully it will get easier and easier -- and he's going to make me better. [The false start] made me mad. It was nothing I could do but correct my mistakes."
Smith is projected as the starter at right tackle, replacing Marc Colombo, who was officially released Thursday. In the future, Smith could play left tackle, but that position is occupied by Doug Free, whom the team signed to a four-year contract Wednesday night.
Smith brings youth to the Cowboys' offensive line, which had only one lineman younger than 30 last season (Free).
"It was exciting, just couldn't wait to get started," Smith said of his first day of practice. "It's of a relief and I'm ready to get started. I can't believe where I'm at right now."
Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.