The mock drafts nailed it for the Cowboys in the first round this year. The Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith from USC with the #9 overall pick in the draft. It is hard to complain about a guy who is only 20 years old and was rated by many as the top offensive lineman in the draft. He is the type of player who could be a starter for 12-15 years on the offensive line.
Smith played right tackle at USC but most experts have projected him long term as a left tackle. So what does that mean for Dallas? I think they let Smith start at right tackle for his rookie year and keep Doug Free at left tackle. Depending on how quickly Smith develops at some point I would think the Cowboys will flip Free back to the right side and make Smith the starting left tackle for the long term. The Cowboys just can't risk having a rookie at left tackle who doesn't have experience on that side. Tony Romo needs to be protected and taking a risk by starting Smith immediately at left tackle would be a bad idea.
This pick probably means that Marc Colombo's days in Dallas are numbered. But I'm sure Colombo had a good idea this was coming. I wouldn't be at all shocked if he retires and commits to his music career full time. Free Reign might be the priority these days for Colombo anyway but I'll still be sad to see him go. He was the guy on the offense with a nasty attitude. Someone else will need to step up and fill that role. The Cowboys will need a new leader on the offensive line.
I'm thrilled with the Tyron Smith pick. I would have liked it even better if the Cowboys would have found a way to trade down a few spots before making the pick. But from the sound of it, the Cowboys couldn't find a trade partner willing to give them enough value to trade down in the draft. I'm not going to complain about getting a 12-15 year starter. It is a nice blue collar type pick. Addressing the offensive line in the draft was past due.