Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett confirmed what has long been thought the case on Thursday, saying that the team will move Tyron Smith from the right side to the left when offseason workouts begin later this year. Left tackle Doug Free, who struggled to protect Tony Romo’s blindside in 2011, will begin offseason sessions at right tackle.
Whether this alignment will remain through the 2012 season isn’t set in stone yet, but it’s clear that the team wants to give Smith a shot at the role following a rookie season in which the USC product was arguably (probably) Dallas’s best lineman.
“The versatility Tyron had coming out was something we were really attracted to,” Garrett said, per MySanAntonio.com. “We felt like he had the physical traits to play left tackle. Same thing with Doug Free. We felt like he could play either side.
“So as a starting point when we get back to playing football, Tyron is going to be on the left side and Doug is going to be on the right side. But there is no guarantee [that will continue when the season starts].”
Garrett continued to say that Smith may have started his NFL career on the left side, had it not been for the longest work stoppage in league history.
“We gave Tyron some snaps at left tackle last year. We just felt like it was the best decision for our team to leave him at right with the shortened training camp and the shortened offseason,” Garrett said. “We feel like he is ready to make that move now. We will see how it goes. I think both guys have demonstrated they can play either side. We are just trying to figure out the best combination.”
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