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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Updated: July 29, 10:08 AM ET
Cowboys, Tyron Smith reach deal

By Calvin Watkins
ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO -- Tackle Tyron Smith's first day as a professional was spent trying to defend DeMarcus Ware.

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."

The Cowboys also have reached agreements with fourth-round pick David Arkin, fifth-rounder Josh Thomas, sixth-round wide receiver Dwayne Harris and seventh-rounders Bill Nagy and Shaun Chapas.

Second-round pick linebacker Bruce Carter and third-round running back DeMarco Murray agreed to deals late Thursday night, meaning all of the Cowboys' draft picks are under contract.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com contributed to this report.