There aren't many offensive linemen who start all 17 games their rookie season, but Tyler Smith was one of them.
With 17 starts already added to his NFL resume, Smith opened up about how he feels more comfortable heading into his second season with the Cowboys.
"After getting that first year under my belt, I understand what the expectation is," Smith said, via Gabriel Trevino of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I've gone through camp, OTAs, I've been through the season before. Being comfortable and acclimated to what I need to do has helped me a lot -- in terms of being confident and who I am. That first year was kind of nervous. Everything was new. Going to a new locker room and some of the guys are like 30, 34. I was used to being in a locker room with 18-23-year-olds. Getting acclimated with the guys helped me a lot."
The 22-year-old tackle out of Tulsa sure did earn the trust of the Cowboys' coaching staff to start in every regular and postseason game in 2022. Smith was one of six offensive linemen in Round 1 of the 2022 draft to start all 17 games for their team. Smith (No. 24 overall) joined fellow draft classmates Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, Zion Johnson, Tyler Linderbaum and Cole Strange in doing so.
Smith spent time at both left tackle and left guard for Dallas last season and helped the Cowboys reach the Divisional Round. After making the playoffs his rookie season, Smith knows Dallas has the talent to win the Super Bowl in 2023.
"Winning that Super Bowl," Smith said. "Obviously I want to go out there and play to the best of my abilities, I want to improve upon last season and I want to be a benefit to the team regardless where they put me, but winning that Super Bowl is the biggest thing. We came close last year and we lost, and that pain sticks with you. I know we have the team to go out there and win it all."
Smith and Co. will be one step closer to their goals as they begin their training camp in late July.