Comparing new Cowboys OT Tyler Guyton to Tyron Smith

The Dallas Cowboys handled Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft as many predicted, trading back five spots and grabbing an offensive lineman in Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton. The front office has already made it clear they see him as their next left tackle, so how does Guyton compare to the last guy to hold that job? Let’s compare our newest first-round rookie to the recently departed veteran Tyron Smith.

In last night’s post-draft press conference, Mike McCarthy quickly discussed Guyton’s experience protecting the blindside of a left-handed quarterback with the Sooners. There was no holding back the team’s intention to move Guyton to the left side in their offense; Stephen Jones cited the benefit of allowing Tyler Smith to stay at guard. So it’s quite clear what the team’s plan is for Guyton.

No question, the rookie is going to have big shoes to fill. Tyron Smith was a five-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler, and he’d have likely seen more of both if he hadn’t battled injuries so much in the later years of his time with Dallas. Smith did get back to All-Pro recognition in 2023, but Dallas chose to let him go in free agency and the veteran is now looking to close out his career with the New York Jets.

One thing that jumps out immediately in comparing Guyton to Smith as prospects is the raw athleticism. Notice the comparisons in their pre-draft workout numbers:

  • 40-yd dash: Guyton 5.19s, Smith 4.93s
  • 10-yd split: Guyton 1.76s, Smith 1.69s
  • 3-cone drill: Guyton 7.5s, Smith 7.47s
  • 20-yd shuttle: Guyton 4.71s, Smith 4.68s
  • Vertical jump: Guyton 34.5”, Smith 29”
  • Broad jump: Guyton 8’11”, Smith 9’1”

Smith has the edge here, which is what made him an elite prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, but not by much. Keep in mind that Guyton is also bigger, measuring 6’8” and 322 lbs. to just 6’5” and 307 lbs. for Smith at his combine. Surprisingly, despite Guyton’s taller frame, Smith actually has slightly longer arms by about two inches. But given Smith’s infamous wingspan, that just means Guyton is closer to normal.

Both came out of college to praise about their athletic potential, but with cited needs to improve in their strength. Both were seen as exceptional pass blockers with room for growth in the run game. Both were also dinged for needing to work on their situational awareness. Again, the term “raw” comes into play with both scouting reports.

Like Guyton, Smith also played mostly right tackle in college. He actually started there as a rookie with Dallas, then switched to the left side in his second season. As the front office made clear last night, Guyton will be asked to move immediately. It makes sense as Terence Steele, while having more experience, has already proven that left tackle is a bad spot for him in the NFL.

Obviously, Tyron Smith was the 11th pick in his draft and Tyler Guyton went 29th. We’re not saying that Guyton is the next Smith; only a handful of guys in the NFL can claim that level of proficiency. But in terms of maintaining the same style of play and the potential to be a starting left tackle for years to come, Guyton seems to check a lot of boxes. For the Cowboys to land a reasonable replacement at left tackle, and pick up an extra third-round pick by trading down, was a good night’s work.


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