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NFL Leader In False Starts Smith Says Timing Is Improving
IRVING, Texas – False start penalties have plagued the Cowboys in two of their first three games, which may have something to do with playing a couple in loud road environments and even more to do with having a new starter at center, and changes in the cadence.
Whatever the reason, the team can’t be proud of boasting the league’s leader in early start flags, Tyron Smith, who has five on the year, with fellow tackle Doug Free tied in second place with four. Tight end Jason Witten is only one behind that, with three on the year.
Smith committed only four false starts all last year, as a rookie. League leader J’Marcus Webb of the Bears was flagged eight times. Smith says the Cowboys are working to sort out their early movement issues.
“We’re figuring it out,” Smith said. “We’re getting the timing right and getting on the same page as everybody else. It’s little timing issues and getting (center Ryan Cook) on the same speed as we’re going.”
The issues have been limited to the tackles and tight end. Guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings have yet to false start this year.
“When you’re on the edge, it’s a different environment for you,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan said. “You’re further away from the quarterback. You’ve got to be more in-tuned, more focused, more concentrated in terms of the snap count and getting off with the cadence and with the ball. Unfortunately some of the linemen haven’t. That’s something we’re working through. We think we’ve got it fixed, but we’ll see this Monday night.”