The reason the Cowboys took Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick in 2011 is because they thought he had the potential and athletic ability to be a dominant left tackle in the NFL.
Well the future is now for Smith and the Cowboys.
Smith, who played right tackle as a rookie last season and was the team's best offensive lineman, will open training camp this season as the starting left tackle, coach Jason Garrett said.
Doug Free will be moved back to right tackle where he played in 2009 before manning the left side the past two seasons.
Garrett said he has already spoken to both players about the teams plans.
"The starting point for us next year is that Tyron will start at left tackle as a starting point and Doug will start at right tackle," Garrett said during the NFL Scouting combine on Thursday. "The versatility that Tyron has coming out is something that we were really attracted to. He was a right tackle in college, as you know. But we felt like he had the physical traits to play left tackle and the same thing with Doug Free. We felt like he could play either side. Our starting point when we get back together playing football is going to be Tyron is going to be on the left side and Doug is going to be on the right side."
Garrett said the Cowboys looked at making the move last season but felt it would be better to ease Smith into the NFL on the right side, especially since had never played left tackle before and the shortened offseason due to the lockout.
"We gave Tyron some snaps at left tackle last year," Garrett said. "We just felt like it was the best decision for our team to leave him at right with the shortened training camp and the shortened offseason. We feel like he is ready to make that move now. And we’ll see how it goes. I think both guys have demonstrated they can play either side. And we’re just trying to come up with the best combination."
The move a no brainer consering the type of season both players had in 2011. Free was a disappointment after signing a four-year, $32-million contract before the season that including $17 million in guaranteed money.
Clarence E. Hill Jr.