Tyler Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft. There were a lot of mixed reviews about the selection.

Smith was described as “incredibly raw” by NFL Draft guru Dane Brugler. Furthermore, he played at a smaller school and struggled with penalties during his collegiate career.

Several called the pick a reach, believing that the Cowboys passed on better talent to take Tyler Smith. However, it was a risk worth taking, in the Cowboys’ view.

Through two games of his rookie season, Tyler Smith is making a strong impression with America’s Team.

Cowboys’ bold moves are paying off

Not only was it a bold move for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Tyler Smith with its first-round pick, but it has also been a bold move to play Smith at left tackle. Right out of the gate, at that.

Tyler Smith practiced at left guard throughout rookie minicamp and into training camp. The plan was for Smith to start out at guard before eventually being the long-term replacement for the great Tyron Smith.

Reality had different plans.

Tyron Smith went down late in a preseason practice after suffering an avulsion fracture of the knee. That meant that Tyler Smith was suddenly thrusted into the blindside role just before week one.

Dallas did go out and sign veteran Jason Peters for insurance at the position. However, Smith is holding it down just fine through two weeks in his first NFL season. In fact, he graded out as the best rookie tackle in week two, according to Pro Football Focus.

Granted, the season is still young. Defenses will adjust and Smith will go against high-quality pass rushers and defensive linemen throughout the season.

Even still, the early returns are certainly encouraging for Smith and the Cowboys.

Smith remains hungry

Tyler Smith does not appear to be letting his foot off the gas anytime soon. The rookie explained that he isn’t satisfied after a strong first two weeks of football.

Instead, Smith is determined to continue improving as the season progresses. Yet another encouraging sign.

“I mean, I’m never satisfied. It’s a long season,” Smith said this week. “There’s a lot of football left to be played. There’s a lot I can improve upon. I’m nowhere near where I want to be.”

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk by drafting Tyler Smith at No. 24 in April. Then, the team took another by sliding him out to left tackle with very minimal reps and preparation.

So far, Tyler Smith has made the Cowboys look smart in both regards.

Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports