by Dallas Cowboys Mailbag, Rob Phillips & David Helman
Tyler Smith reminds me of Leonard Davis. Davis was drafted as a tackle with a top-10 pick and struggled, then was moved inside to guard and became an All-Pro. Why not just keep him at left guard? Look at the Kansas City game and the Eagles taking Jordan Davis. They are going to need a big physical guard to offset that. - _**GAELEN NELSON / WILMINGTON, DE_**
Rob: I agree with everything you said about the needs they have at left guard this season, and I sort of get the Leonard Davis comparison. Davis had overwhelming size and strength at the guard position. Smith has a chance to provide a physical presence there, too. Let's just see how this goes once the practices actually start. It's too early to say he can't handle left tackle down the road, or even how he'll do in this left guard competition right away.
David: It's way too early to say they won't leave him at left guard. I've said this before, but if the guy turns out to be Zack Martin 2.0, I'm guessing they'll think twice about moving him. Sometimes you really just have to wait and see how things play out, no sense in stressing about a question we can't answer right now.
When taking a first look at the schedule each offseason, what is the first thing you look for? Rivalry games, games on holidays, short weeks, toughest opponents, bye weeks and the team you play coming out of it, opening game of the year, and opposing teams with young or high-end QBs are things that always catch my eye. - DARRYL CROSS / LARGO, FL
Rob: Selfishly, holidays first, then all the football stuff. I always look at where the top opposing quarterbacks line up throughout the schedule. This year the Cowboys catch a few early. Also, that stretch after Thanksgiving is always critical. This year they don't have to play the Thursday-to-Thursday stretch, which also means there aren't three games in 12 days. That's helpful.
David: If you want me to be honest, the first thing I look at is how the Cowboys' schedule stacks up with the college football season, so I can get an idea of how many LSU games I might be able to sneak off to. After that, I look to see what the schedule looks like around Christmas, so I know if I'll be able to see my family or if I'll have to work. When I'm done with that, I like to scope out the first 5-6 weeks. It's impossible to predict what every team is going to look like in November and December, but it's a bit easier to forecast the first month or so of the season.