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Mailbag: Assessing Tyler Smith's First Two Starts?

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From what I saw watching highlights, Tyler Smith and Matt Farniok played a solid game against the Bengals. How would y'all assess their play? PAUL MEEK / SAN ANGELO, TX

Rob: There are some good plays on tape from both guys. With Smith in particular, you can see his natural ability and physicality and power. There's some technique stuff he'll continue to work on, as expected, but as Kellen Moore said Monday, Smith's play style is really good. Farniok and Tyler Biadasz had a tough matchup with D.J. Reader on Sunday, but Farniok has battled. He and Smith had a nice play in the fourth quarter where they both pulled to the right side to crease a crease for a 17-yard Tony Pollard run. It'll be interesting to see what the Cowboys might do on the left side once Connor McGovern is healthy and Jason Peters is game-ready, though.

Kyle:I completely agree. The right way to describe it was "solid" because it was nothing more, nothing less. Smith showed the early signs of strength and power that we all knew he had. His footwork and communication could still use some sharpening because there were times when he was either caught off balance or out of position with Farniok or a tailback forced to pick up the slack. His growth is notable though, and his comfort level at tackle appears much higher than his comfort level at guard. Farniok still has some room to grow in his own game. He's not blessed with the strength that Smith has, but he moves well. He'll continue to get the reps needed to improve, but he's making a strong case of becoming a long-term backup option in the future. Something that every NFL offensive line needs.

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