Jason Garrett pleased with Tyron Smith's performance

IRVING, Texas -- Tyron Smith, who signed an eight-year contract worth $110 million, leads the Dallas Cowboys with seven penalties.

At times this season, he's been beaten by players such as Houston's J.J. Watt and Sunday night against the New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul. And, for what it's worth, Pro Football Focus ranks him 21st among tackles. Doug Free ranks 16th.

"Tyron has played well. He's gone against some really good rushers like he always does and done an excellent job neutralizing them," Garrett said. "He's improved as a run-blocker and a leader. His play is consistent, but having said that, he can always play better. He's still a young player and technically he's still improving."

Smith has not been as dominant this season as he was in 2013, when he seemingly destroyed opposing defensive ends every week. Then again, the standard for Smith is so high that it's easy to forget the only player who's never been beaten is the player who stays on the sideline.

"That's the standard he needs to have for himself. That's the one we have for him, you also have to recognize who he's going against play-in and play-out, week in and week out. He's not perfect, but he's a great teammate and a great guy to have on your team not just because of his ability and productivity but also because how he goes about it."

Pierre-Paul had two tackles, a quarterback hit and forced a holding call. At times, he was disruptive.

But on the final drive with the game on the line, Smith made Pierre-Paul disappear. Twice the offensive line provided Romo with more than seven seconds to throw a pass against a four-man rush.

If you hadn't seen it, you wouldn't have believed Romo had so much time.

"He never wants to get beat in anything we do," Garrett said. "We do these pass-rush drills, and if he gets beat or he doesn't have a good performance, you can just see it inside of him.

"A number of times, if he has gotten beat, he says, 'Give it to me again.' He wants to go again and rectify that situation immediately. The best players I've been around and the best offensive linemen I've been around have that same attitude."