Mailbag: Tyler Smith Comparison? Schedule Focus? –


Tyler Smith reminds me of Leonard Davis. Davis was drafted as a tackle with a top-10 pick and struggled, then was moved inside to guard and became an All-Pro. Why not just keep him at left guard? Look at the Kansas City game and the Eagles taking Jordan Davis. They are going to need a big physical guard to offset that. — _**GAELEN NELSON / WILMINGTON, DE_**
Rob: I agree with everything you said about the needs they have at left guard this season, and I sort of get the Leonard Davis comparison. Davis had overwhelming size and strength at the guard position. Smith has a chance to provide a physical presence there, too. Let’s just see how this goes once the practices actually start. It’s too early to say he can’t handle left tackle down the road, or even how he’ll do in this left guard competition right away.
David: It’s way too early to say they won’t leave him at left guard. I’ve said this before, but if the guy turns out to be Zack Martin 2.0, I’m guessing they’ll think twice about moving him. Sometimes you really just have to wait and see how things play out, no sense in stressing about a question we can’t answer right now.
When taking a first look at the schedule each offseason, what is the first thing you look for? Rivalry games, games on holidays, short weeks, toughest opponents, bye weeks and the team you play coming out of it, opening game of the year, and opposing teams with young or high-end QBs are things that always catch my eye. — DARRYL CROSS / LARGO, FL
Rob: Selfishly, holidays first, then all the football stuff. I always look at where the top opposing quarterbacks line up throughout the schedule. This year the Cowboys catch a few early. Also, that stretch after Thanksgiving is always critical. This year they don’t have to play the Thursday-to-Thursday stretch, which also means there aren’t three games in 12 days. That’s helpful.
David: If you want me to be honest, the first thing I look at is how the Cowboys’ schedule stacks up with the college football season, so I can get an idea of how many LSU games I might be able to sneak off to. After that, I look to see what the schedule looks like around Christmas, so I know if I’ll be able to see my family or if I’ll have to work. When I’m done with that, I like to scope out the first 5-6 weeks. It’s impossible to predict what every team is going to look like in November and December, but it’s a bit easier to forecast the first month or so of the season.
No doubt Tyron Smith is a future Hall of Famer, but do you worry about the offensive line keeping chemistry and continuity once he returns? And will this slow Tyler Smith’s development at all?
Do you think the Cowboys will use these next two games against lesser opponents to try new things and prepare for that final three-game gauntlet against the Eagles, Titans and Commanders?
I’m really concerned about our depth in the secondary after losing Anthony Brown. How will the Cowboys replace him?
Against teams that are one dimensional or lack quality skill players, this Cowboys team has been able to overcome its slow starts. Do you see this as a problem down the stretch or in the playoffs?
When Dak Prescott seems to get in trouble with turnovers, it’s often high passes over the middle. What’s the fix?
It seems the Cowboys’ philosophy of not overspending for players is working. Shouldn’t they see what they have in wide receiver Antonio Callaway and even James Washington before overspending for OBJ?
Seeing Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard split carries this year, I was curious if you feel like the 1,000-yard mark is losing its place as a benchmark stat when evaluating and assessing who the NFL’s top-tier running backs are?
The Cowboys have recently followed their game on Thanksgiving with a game the following Thursday and then had a mini-bye. This year they play later in the season and will have two mini-byes. Which is better?
When posed with the question about how his team was looking, Bill Parcells is famously known for always responding, “Ask me after Thanksgiving.” Well, here we are. What do you think?
Do you believe that special teams are playing the best of these three units for the Cowboys right now? Also, is there another special teams unit in the NFL you would rather have other than the Cowboys’?
The game against Minnesota showed that our offense is our best run defense. Can/will this be our key to making a deep playoff run?
The fact that Ezekiel Elliott has actually sat out injured at all is a departure from the standard he has set. Do you think this is a result of learning from past mistakes?
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