Tyron Smith is moving to left tackle

AP

The Cowboys made an expected switch to their offensive line official on Thursday.

Tyron Smith, who had a strong rookie year at right tackle, will be the team’s starting left tackle next season. Doug Free will move back to right tackle. The move has been expected since the Cowboys took Smith ninth overall in the 2011 Draft and Free’s struggles this season made it a priority. The team didn’t want to move Smith, who played on the right side at USC, as a rookie because of the lack of offseason time to work on the move, but Jason Garrett said Thursday that they think the time is right.

“We gave Tyron some snaps at left tackle last year,” Garrett said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We feel like he is ready to make that move now. We’re just trying to come up with the best combination.”

The Cowboys figure to make other moves on the offensive line this offseason. They are believed to be targeting upgrades at guard as they try to make their way back to the playoffs after falling short in each of the last two seasons.