Tyler Smith’s Perspective on the Cowboys’ Offensive Line’s Continuous Improvement

How has Dallas Cowboys LG Tyler Smith's preparations for Thursday's game changed since his rookie season last year to ensure success?

Dallas Cowboys left guard Tyler Smith has done everything and more to take a second-year jump that continues to be impressive. Although the right side of the line has struggled more this season, the left side, with Tyler and Tyron Smith, has been a wall and highly graded when they play together.

Protecting Dak Prescott

So far this season, the Cowboys’ offensive line has allowed 23 sacks on Dak Prescott. But Sunday marked two games in a row that the line has prevented him from getting sacked.

According to Inside Edge, Dallas has allowed opponents to pressure their quarterback on 18% of pass attempts this season, the fourth-best rate in the NFL.

Smith says it’s a consistent process that allows the unit to protect their quarterback.

“Our mindset in the [offensive line] room is we’re just trying to stack days on top of days, just getting better. Especially when it comes to the depth of our room,” said Smith.

He contributed to the team’s ability to win games early and sit starters in the fourth quarter, allowing younger players to get valuable game-time reps. Smith says no matter who is out there, the standard the offensive line has is still the same.

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A large part of why the line is clicking more is because it has found continuity with its starting five, who have played multiple weeks together since the start of the season.

Smith says across-the-room communication has contributed to the line’s success.

“We’re going to continue to improve obviously because we’re trying to at that most elite level, highest level known to mankind,” said Smith.

Tyler Smith’s Preparation for Thursday’s Game

The Cowboys play the Washington Commanders in their usual Thanksgiving Day slot. But Smith knows how to handle the quick turnaround better now that he’s in his second season.

He said, “You gotta take care of your body first and foremost and then just being ready… You definitely just have to take advantage of all the reps you get because you may not be as physical as a regular week would be.”

The 22-year-old said remembering how his body felt last year around the same time was valuable for him going into this week’s matchup. This has helped him be more proactive this season, adding he knows attacking Monday’s practice will help him in the long run this week.

However, Smith now knows how the team game plans for a Thursday game and what to expect, which he also learned last season.

Keep in mind that the Commanders also played on Sunday, so both teams will go into the matchup on a short week. However, the Cowboys have the advantage with the game being back home at AT&T Stadium, especially with their success at home winning 12 straight.

Washington is 4-7 this season, and Dallas is favored by 11 points at this time. Regardless of the Commanders’ losing record, Smith says the Cowboys still want to dominate the game to their standards.

“They may be a wounded animal now, but they still got fangs, and you can get bit,” said Smith.

Dallas can win a division game, keep the momentum they have built over the last few weeks, and not play with their food on Thursday.

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