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Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy: Plan is to keep Tyler Smith at guard 'right now, see how it unfolds' 

With Tyron Smith's defection to New York, the Dallas Cowboys have a big hole to fill on the left side of the offensive line.

The presumption has been that Tyler Smith could move from guard to tackle, where he spent the majority of his rookie season while Tyron dealt with an injury. For now, head coach Mike McCarthy is comfortable waiting to see how things shake out before making a move.

"Tyler Smith will take another step. We'll keep him at guard right now, see how it unfolds, but I thought we took a big step," McCarthy said Tuesday at the NFL's Annual League Meeting in Orlando, Fla. "If you look at the makeup of our offensive line last year where our younger players (were) backups and got to play too. I mean, you can put Brock (Hoffman) in the same category; he's been here and no one was as close to Tyler Biadasz as he was. So I think that's a natural step for him to step in there and we'll continue to grow. But we definitely do want to continue to add talent and depth to that room."

Earlier this week, owner Jerry Jones noted that moving Tyler Smith to left tackle is an option.

A lot of it might depend on what sort of replacement the Cowboys can find in the 2024 NFL Draft, which begins April 25 in Detroit. If an offensive tackle drops to them early, Smith could remain at guard. If an interior lineman is the best player available, the third-year pro could kick out to tackle.

"As of today. Let's fill up the room, and then we'll look at it," McCarthy said on Tuesday. "I mean, the goal's always get the best five on the field, but we've had this conversation every year since I've been here. So when does that occur, you know? Just look at our training camp last year. You know, we didn't have the five starters practice together until the week of the first game, so it would be nice to have all five of your guys that you feel are going to be starters practice throughout April, May, June and into training camp.

"The cohesiveness of your offensive line, you look at that statistically or the history of football, equates to winning. So we've had veteran players that aren't going to work a lot in training camp and so we've gone through that, but like I said, we took a big step last year with the youth of that group and it'll be a little younger even again this year. Hopefully, with this group of offensive linemen coming in through the draft, I mean, it'd be great to add to that room. It's an excellent room. It's a room that will definitely improve just based on who's in there today, but yeah, we'd like to continue to add to that."

The good news for Dallas is that Tyler Smith has proven adept at both guard and tackle, giving the Cowboys flexibility not only in seeking out that fifth blocker but versatility in-season if the initial plan goes awry.

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