JACKSONVILLE – For the first time in 11 years, Tyron Smith started at right tackle for the Cowboys.
And while he didn't play the whole game, as the team was easing him back into the mix after missing the first 14 weeks with a hamstring injury, Smith looked like his usual Pro Bowl self once again.
No, the Cowboys didn't get the win, blowing a 17-point third-quarter lead and falling 40-34 in overtime, but it does appear as if Smith will be the answer at right tackle here moving forward for the rest of the season and potentially in the playoffs.
Smith rotated with veteran Jason Peters, who got plenty of snaps as well at right tackle as the Cowboys played their first full game since Terence Steele's ACL injury. But in the fourth quarter and overtime, Smith was out there on the right side and said he wasn't too tired despite playing his first game of the season.
"No, I was having too much of a good time," Smith said. "It's been a while since I played. It felt good to be back out there with the guys. Obviously, we have a lot of things to clean up moving forward."
Smith lined up next to All-Pro guard Zack Martin, who said he's used to being impressed by Smith.
"He's just a freak-a-zoid," Martin said. "To go out there and play a position he hasn't played in 10 years with four days of practice, and to play the way he did, he's amazing. But I'm not surprised at all. He's been that guy ever since I got here, so it was just great to see him out there and playing again. I'm disappointed in the loss but excited to see what he's going to do down the stretch here."
Smith said it'll take the O-line getting back in the film room to move on from this loss, especially with the Eagles around the corner in six days.
"You shake it off by moving to the next game, study, see what we need to do," Smith said. "Talk about it and just move on."
Smith, an eight-time Pro Bowler, played right tackle as a rookie in 2011 but then moved to the left side, where he has enjoyed a career likely destined for the Ring of Honor, if not the Hall of Fame.
But with rookie Tyler Smith continuing to develop at left tackle, playing Tyron Smith on the right side seems like it'll be the move for the rest of the season.
"Whatever they want to do is fine," Smith said. "I'll be ready."