Why does it seem like offensive linemen never get recognized for Rookie of the Year. I just saw the finalists this year and none of them seem to make a bigger impact for the entire season like Tyler Smith did for us. Do you think he should've been a finalist based off what he did playing left tackle and guard back and forth all year? — Scotty Campbell/Sanger, TX
Patrik: A person could root for any team under the moon and should still be objective enough to understand just how criminal it is for Tyler Smith to be snubbed from so much as a conversation for possible ROTY and/or OROTY honors. Not only was he a first-round pick many "experts" predicted would be a bust, but he went from playing OT at Tulsa to not taking a single rep at the position in training camp — all taken at LG — to being thrust back at LT with little notice after Tyron Smith's injury, played like a veteran on the blindside for two different QBs, got moved back to LG with the injury to Tyler Biadasz and then back to LT for the playoffs. Oh, and he never took a step back during that game of musical chairs, against literally the best defensive linemen in the world. Maybe if he caught a pass or also played defense then he'd be sexy enough to voters but, alas, he's "just a lineman" tasked with doing the most important job in the league: protecting his QB. (Insert sarcasm here.)
Nick: I can't tell you why lineman don't get much love for this award but it's definitely a real thing. You can't tell me the best offensive rookie has never been a lineman in the last 55 years. But then again, they don't win MVP awards either. As a finalist though, I still think Tyler Smith should've been included. He took over at left tackle without any real snaps at camp and not only held his own but was really good. So good that the Cowboys moved Tyron Smith to right tackle when he got back. Then he showed his versatility to move back and forth from guard to tackle - sometimes game to game - and sometimes play to play. He did make some All-Rookie teams but yes he should've been included, especially since two of the finalists didn't play most of the season.