FRISCO, Texas – When the Cowboys decided to move rookie Tyler Smith from his left tackle spot to left guard at the end of Sunday's blowout loss to the Vikings, the initial speculation was that perhaps the team was getting him ready to play that position when veteran Tyron Smith returns next month.
While it remains to be seen when the eight-time Pro Bowler will return, it does seem clear where he's going to be, at least to owner/GM Jerry Jones.
"Tyron will be at left tackle when he returns," Jones said on 105.3 "The Fan" on Tuesday morning.
When asked how Tyler Smith will make the transition to left guard, Jones was rather blunt in his response.
"Easily," Jones said of Tyler Smith, who spent the offseason playing left guard before Tyron's injury. "I don't mean to make something difficult in the very essence of playing tackle or guard, but that's what they were doing was giving him reps there in anticipation of that or giving him reps in anticipation of [Jason] Peters basically playing left tackle in situations and him playing guard. But position flex as you well know is just tremendously valued in an offensive lineman, and we got some great coaches out there, and they want to develop that flex all the way across that offensive line."
The player who shouldn't be left out of the equation is Connor McGovern, who has been the regular starter at left guard. In fact, Tyler Smith never unseated McGovern during the offseason and training camp and it seemed as if McGovern would be the starter in Week 1. But then Tyron Smith injured his hamstring at the end of training camp and it forced Tyler Smith out to left tackle, where he has started the first 10 games.
Jason Peters also has position flex, playing both guard and tackle so far this season, and that will certainly give the Cowboys added depth as well.