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Jerry Jones: 'Safe to say' rookie Tyler Smith will be Cowboys' starting LT to open season

The Cowboys are poised to swap Smiths at left tackle to open the season.

With Tyron Smith set to miss a big chunk of the season after undergoing surgery, Dallas' top option is rookie Tyler Smith on Dak Prescott's blind side.

Joining 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, owner Jerry Jones was asked if Tyler Smith would be the opening day starter at left tackle.

"I think that's safe to say," Jones responded.

When Tyron Smith went down with a knee/hamstring injury, the biggest issue with Tyler Smith immediately taking over the gig was that the first-round pick hadn't been working at tackle throughout training camp. He was lining up at guard. The rookie was also dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of the final preseason game.

"We've got to get him out here and get him practiced here over the next couple of weeks relative to any issue he had with a little high-ankle (sprain)," Jones noted, via the team's official website. "But we don't think that's serious enough to limit his preparation.

"Now, what is the case is he hasn't been there at left tackle. He is a rookie. But he's a first-round pick and he deserved to be a first-round pick in my mind. And so we knew -- we just didn't want it to come any earlier than it needed -- but we knew we had to get ready to replace our left tackle and he was the pick."

The Cowboys have boasted about Tyler Smith's upside since making him the 24th overall pick out of Tulsa. The plan was always for him to succeed Tyron Smith on the blind side. Those plans were quickly accelerated.

Now Dallas has 11 days to get the rookie ready to start at left tackle before the season-opener against Tampa Bay on Sept. 11 in prime time.

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