The Dallas Cowboys have been forced this season to do a lot of shuffling along the offensive line.
They came into the year with a plan to use first-round pick Tyler Smith at left guard next to Tyron Smith, in order to ease the former's transition into the NFL. But Tyron Smith tore his hamstring in training camp, so the Cowboys had to move Tyler Smith back outside to left tackle, with Connor McGovern taking over at left guard. The Cowboys signed future Hall of Fame tackle Jason Peters to give them a backstop on the left side of the line, and throughout the season, they have used Peters at both left guard and left tackle, while over the past few weeks, they have given Tyler Smith occasional snaps at left guard as they have been preparing for Tyron Smith's return to the lineup.
But the Cowboys were thrown a curveball last week when right tackle Terence Steele suffered a torn ACL that will knock him out for the season. Dallas rotated Peters and Josh Ball through Steele's spot in the lineup against the Texans, with the former looking much better than the latter. Now, apparently, they are considering using Tyron Smith on the right side of the line as he returns to the fold, so that the Cowboys don't have to disrupt things on both sides of the offensive line by moving Tyler Smith back inside and using Peters on the right.
Right tackle is a spot Tyron hasn't played since his rookie season, before he and former Cowboys tackle Doug Free flipped sides and Smith became a future Hall of Famer himself. He also played on the right side at USC, but it's obviously been more than a decade since he did so.
Still, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones asserted that Smith clearly has the ability to be position flexible and play on the right side of the line. "Absolutely he does," Jones said during a radio interview, according to Yahoo! Sports.
And according to Cowboys players, Smith is making the transition to the opposite side of the line look easy in practices. "It's Tyron," McGovern said, per the Dallas Morning News. "What else can I say?"
We'll have to wait until the Cowboys actually take the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday to see if or how often Tyron Smith is used on the right side of the line, but that the Cowboys are even considering it says a lot about how they view the job Tyler Smith has done being pushed into duty at left tackle, and how important it is that they solidify the spot next to Zack Martin on the right side.