Vote For The LSS Cowboys Rookie Of The Year

The Dallas Cowboys 2011 Rookie class was one of the best in recent years. The Cowboys drafted a lot of talent, but even the walk-on players were a pleasant surprise.  I have learned so much over the years writing our “New to the Silver and Blue” columns.   Let’s have some fun… We are going to have a contest for readers to help us elect the winner of our 1st Annual LSS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD. :-)

There were 15 rookies on the team this season, but only a few of them took advantage of their opportunities and ran with it.  When those rookies were called on, it gave the starters some pause to look over their shoulders and sweat a little.

We want to know who you think deserves the honor of ” LSS Rookie Of The Year” !

Here are you five candidates:

Out of the fifteen I feel  these  five are  the most deserving of this honor.

May The Best Cowboy Rookie Win!

New To The Silver & Blue: Tyron Smith – OT

By now, every Cowboys fan knows that the team selected offensive lineman Tyron Smith with their 1st round draft pick earlier this year, but did you know that it had been 30 years since the last time the Cowboys drafted that position with their first round pick? It’s true, the Dallas Cowboys selected offensive lineman Howard Richards with their first round selection 1981. That was the year that we were all was introduced to Indiana Jones and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” topped the box-office.

Whenever I write something about the newest Cowboy, Tyron Smith, I’m tempted to type in all caps because he is such a monster when it comes to his size!  The young tackle out of Southern California checks in at 6’5  and weighs 307 pounds.  Tryon’s hands were each measured at 11 inches.  The former USC star acknowledges his size as one of his main assets:

” My strength is my size,” I intimidate other guys because I’m big and I’m working on getting bigger. I want to work on my footwork. Since I’m so big, sometimes I get off balance.” 

Tyron was born December 12, 1990 in Moreno Valley California. He attended Rancho Verde High School where he played offensive and defensive line.  He earned numerous honors.  Even as a kid, listed him as the #1 offensive tackle prospect in the nation.  They nailed it on this one.

The analysis from USC pro-day reported that his pass blocking is his best trait,  saying he’s quick off the snap and can catch and turn his opponent away from the play. His athleticism enables him to explode out of the gate and make down-field blocks.

In his last season at USC, the Trojans allowed only 18 sacks, and averaged 189 yards per game in 2010, both were conference bests.

At Pro-day he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.91 and just as impressive for his size was his broad jump at 9-1 and his vertical at 29 inches. The ground must have shook when he landed. :-)

Smith is very comfortable blocking in an open space.  He can sink his hips to counter the bull-rush. He moves his feet well to shadow quicker speed rushers. 

It’s no wonder Smith was by far the number one offensive tackle in the draft – nobody else even came close. Romo must have been doing cartwheels on Draft Day! (Don’t strain yourself Tony!) 

Blessed with the prototype combination of size, balance and agility, he has the potential to develop into a top-flight left tackle in the NFL. He emerged as a standout in the Pac-10, winning the Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman as voted by the league’s defensive linemen.

Among his weaknesses (hey, nobody’s perfect!) some experts say he needs to develop his football instincts, so that he won’t easily be baited by stunts. He must also key in on recognizing the blitz.  Right now, they seem to think he can be beat by speed to power  rushing moves.  But with that said, let me add that the Cowboys defense is known for their speed, so working against them in camp will help him improve on defending against a speed/rush offense. (It’s all good!)

Here are some highlights…

  • Smith was the country’s highest-ranked offensive linemen. 
  • Smith made a huge impact in his two seasons as the Trojans starting offensive tackle, before declaring early for the 2011 draft.
  • Consensus All-Pac 10 first-team choice, named the Trojans’ Offensive Lineman of the Year
  • The only player in the Pac-10 Conference to register 100 knockdowns for the season, receiving first-team all-league honors.
  • Smith had thirteen touchdown-resulting blocks and allowed only one quarterback sack in his final season. He had 23 blocks for touchdowns in his two years as starter.
  • Tyron was the recipient of the Pac-10 Morris Award, given to the league’s top lineman.

After watching video of him, and with Coach Ryan coming in, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff can help him with his football IQ and quickly get Smith up to speed and make the improvements that will make him a starter. I believe they will.

There’s a lot to like here!

Why Can’t They Get Open?

Patrick CraytonIt is hard to believe that we have four wide receivers on most plays, on some we have three, plus two good tight ends, yet none of them can get open. We have seen this in every game so far with the exception of Week 1 at Tampa Bay.

This game was one of the worst that we’ve seen for the Dallas offense. Every time Romo dropped back to pass, it seemed like there were no receivers going down field. When Romo did throw the ball it was either overthrown, underthrown or picked off.

What exactly is the problem this year? Even the Detroit Lions can throw to an open wide receiver, and they have only won one game out of their last 21.

I’m not sure if it is the play calling or the play execution. Whatever it is, the Cowboys need to get it corrected. We will not even make it to a .500 record if we cannot throw the ball.

We cannot depend solely on the run, as we seen against the Broncos. Sure, Denver has the number one defense in the league, but could we at least complete something when we need to? Romo completed 25 passes, but they were passes that only netted a couple of yards (with the exception of one to Sam Hurd in the final minutes).

Oh yeah, then there was the slant pattern two times in a row to Hurd in the last 30 seconds. I know we have better plays than that.

This week we may be without Roy Williams. Kevin Ogletree needs to come in and do something, along with the other receivers. Some how they need to get open.

Like most other Cowboys fans I love them and always will, but this is getting so frustrating. It does not seem to be getting any better.

Cowboys News: Offensive Talk and Nick Folk Update

There will be no Wildcat offense in Dallas this season, well kind of. The Cowboys are calling their Wildcat formation the Razorback because it features Felix Jones. The formation shows Tony Romo lined up at wide receiver and Patrick Crayton in the shotgun as Jones goes in motion.

“Man, it was great,” said Jones, who was utilized primarily as a decoy. “It brought back old memories. It’s just the first day. I believe we can get a lot better at it. You’ll see a lot more of it, I’m hoping, when the time comes.”

Maybe Jason Garrett is getting the message and wants to do different things in 2009. He needs to take advantage of all his offensive weapons. A few weeks back it was reported that Dallas ran the halfback option pass with Marion Barber throwing a touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton.

In other news Nick Folk is healing from his hip surgery he had after the draft in April. It was reported on that Folk is ready to do some light running on Monday. Folk said he should be able to start kicking a volleyball in mid to late June. A volleyball is lighter and offers less resistance. Dr. Marc Philippon who performed the surgery said Folk should come back stronger and never have an issue with the labrum again.

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