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Asked if he was a Cowboys fan growing up in Southern California, he said his family rooted for Dallas and for the Rams but he didn’t really have a favorite team.

He said he doesn’t feel pressure to live up to being a top-10 pick, or being the rare offensive lineman drafted so high by the Cowboys. He preferred the term “expectations,” and constantly talked about working hard to live up to them.

“It’s not going to be easy and everybody knows that,” Smith said. “It’s about helping the team as much as I can.”

Smith weighed 285 pounds last season, way too light by NFL standards. He’s worked with a nutritionist to bulk up while staying lean _ he’s built sleek, more like an NBA power forward than a Nate Newton-esque lineman _ and has met the challenge of maintaining his new weight.

“It feel healthy, it feels like natural weight for me,” he said.

Dallas hadn’t picked an offensive lineman in the first round since 1981, when the Tom Landry-Tex Schramm leadership took Howard Richards at No. 26. He didn’t pan out, and neither have most of the linemen JonesCowboys have taken in the early rounds in recent years.

They whiffed with a second-round pick on Jacob Rogers, also of USC, and third-rounder Stephen Peterman in 2004, and they got little out of third-round pick James Marten in 2007. Robert Brewster, a third-rounder in 2009, also doesn’t look like he’s going to pan out.

The best Dallas has done with an offensive lineman recently is taking Doug Free in the fourth round in ‘07. He started at left tackle last year and is expected to do so again next season. Once Smith is ready to move to the left side, Free could be moved to the right side, which is where he first broke into the starting lineup in 2009 when Colombo was injured.

“We could switch them very easily,” Houck said. “We know we have a good left tackle right now. We’ll see how that goes.”

Now that Dallas has a pair of 20-something players at tackle, it may look to get younger on the interior of the line. But coming off a 6-10 season, the Cowboys have other, bigger concerns.

They have the eight pick in the second round, and the seventh pick in the third round, on Friday. On Saturday, Dallas has single picks in the fourth through sixth rounds, then two in the seventh.