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Tyron Smith comfortable again now that he’s back at left tackle

Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith agreed to play right tackle when he returned from a torn hamstring late last season. He replaced Terence Steele, who tore an ACL in December, for the final four regular-season games and the two playoff games.

The Cowboys, though, have moved Smith back to left tackle, the position where he has earned eight Pro Bowls. Tyler Smith, the team’s first-round draft pick last year, is back at left guard.

“I’m back [to being] comfortable,” Tyron Smith said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’ve been playing left for a long time. I’m just back to my normal spot, and I’m knocking the rust off right now.”

Smith, 32, has played only 17 games the past three seasons combined and hasn’t played a full NFL season since 2015. In the past seven seasons, Smith has missed 45 games with injuries to his ankle, neck, back, knee, elbow and hamstring.

“I’m concentrating on the small things and getting the work I need, and getting the work after practice to stay on track and stay healthy on the field,” Smith said.

Smith wouldn’t have returned to the Cowboys without taking a pay cut, cutting his base salary of $13.6 million and his salary cap hit of $17.605 million. The restructured deal gives him a $3 million signing bonus and a $3 million guaranteed base salary, and he can earn up to $9 million more in playing time incentives and another $2 million in playoff incentives in a pay-as-you-go enticement.

Smith said he chose to take less money because “these guys are on the team are my family and I wanted to do whatever it takes to stay here.”

He remains with the Cowboys, but can he stay on the field?

“He’s played a lot of football,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’m well aware of how much time he’s missed, but Tyron has been in the building every single day, pretty much, since the season was over. So he’s put a tremendous amount of time in addressing some of the challenges he had last year.”