Dak Prescott: I expect Tyler Smith to be prepared

Dak Prescott: I expect Tyler Smith to be prepared

The Cowboys have been in conversations with free agent left tackle Jason Peters about joining the team to help cover for the loss of Tyron Smith to a knee injury, but an agreement likely wouldn’t get in the way of first-round pick Tyler Smith getting the start against the Buccaneers in Week 1.

The rookie was competing for the left guard spot before shifting over one spot and one of his biggest jobs in his new spot will be protecting quarterback Dak Prescott, who can empathize with Smith when it comes to unexpectedly landing in the starting lineup. Prescott was the No. 3 quarterback in Dallas after being picked in the fourth round in 2016, but became the backup after Kellen Moore was hurt and then jumped to starting quarterback when Tony Romo injured his back.

Prescott hasn’t given up the job since that point and has the big contract that comes with playing the position well. We can’t know if Smith will have a similar experience, but Prescott believes the rookie will be ready to play on Sunday.

“When you hang around Tyler, you see the competitor, the fighter. You see the football player — the grit,” Prescott said, via the team’s website. “I expect him to be prepared. I was in his position [six] years ago. If there’s anyone who is supporting the next man up and is about that mentality, it’s me. I’m here to support him and give him the most confidence that he needs.”

If Peters signs, the Cowboys will have an experienced insurance policy for an important position and Week 1 will provide a hint about whether they’ll need to use it.