FRISCO, Texas – Organized Team Activities are underway here at The Star in Frisco, a chance for the Cowboys' rookie class to share the field with the veterans in a practice-type environment.
For rookie defensive end Taco Charlton, his education will continue this summer against All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith.
Facing Smith every week is one of many reasons the Cowboys believe their first-round pick has plenty of room to develop into an effective edge rusher.
"That's a good environment for a young player to grow in," head coach Jason Garrett said last month during the NFL Draft.
According to NFL rules, no live contact is permitted during OTAs, but teams can hold 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. It's where Smith, a four-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler, first got a glimpse of elite NFL competition in 2011 against one of the league's all-time greats: the recently retired DeMarcus Ware.
It didn't always go well for Smith, the Cowboys' first-round pick that year. But it made him a better player.
"He definitely helped me out where I could get to where I'm at right now," Smith said earlier this month. "He basically with stayed with me after practice just helping with small things so it would slow down the whole game for me. I owe him a lot."
He'll try to pass on his knowledge to Charlton and the Cowboys' other young rushers.
"I'm going to help him out the best way I can," he said. "Give him any kind of tips to help him."