Despite suggestions otherwise in the week leading into the draft, the Cowboys did rank their choice Tyron Smith No. 5 on their entire board, appreciably higher than Anthony Castonzo and Nate Solder (the Cowboys ranked Solder just ahead of Castonzo). Hudson Houck told reporters after the selection that Smith is “much better” than the other tackles in the draft and that he gave Smith one of the highest grades he’s ever given an offensive lineman in the draft.
Houck also said that Smith will start in 2011, but that the team will go to camp and decide whether Doug Free (who is either a restricted or unrestricted free agent, depending on the result of current litigation and negotiating between NFL owners and players) or Smith will play on the left side. Both players have experience on both sides.
Houck repeatedly invoked Larry Allen, saying that Smith “gets on you fast and can really move and run downfield, much like Allen.” Other scouts have compared Smith to former Lions pro bowler Lomas Brown. Houck added that Smith is currently 311 lbs. and will eventually play at 325.
Smith told reporters that he believes that he has the potential to be a pro bowler and a hall of famer. The Cowboys also released Jason Garrett’s phone call to Smith. An unusually excited Garrett told Smith, “you’re gonna have a great future with the Dallas Cowboys.”