Dallas Cowboys: The case for re-signing OT Cameron Fleming

Cameron Fleming #75 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Cameron Fleming #75 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Cameron Fleming, the Dallas Cowboys swing tackle last season, is about to hit the free agent market – here’s why Dallas would be wise to bring him back.

Last year the Dallas Cowboys signed Cameron Fleming to a modest 1-year/ $2.5 million deal  to serve as the team’s swing tackle. While he didn’t blow anyone away with his performance, he was an undeniable upgrade over the previous swing tackle, Chaz Green, and he came at a relatively modest price

With starting left tackle Tyron Smith’s health always in question, having a reliable swing tackle is imperative for this Dallas Cowboys offense. After all, this isn’t a quick release passing attack in the slightest. It’s a downfield passing game that focuses on slow developing routes (even if there is a high check down rate).

How Good is Cam?

Cam Fleming’s lone season with Dallas wasn’t very flashy. His 240 snaps last season were the least of his career. And in those limited snaps, he looked stiff and clunky. Pro football Focus rated him the 75th tackle among 85 qualifying candidates. He allowed nine pressures on 136 passing attempts – not what you want from someone who may need to start.

So why sign him? I’ll give you three reasons:

  1. He’s only 26-years old and last year appears to be an outlier season
  2. He’s going to be affordable at a time when offensive tackles are anything but
  3. He can create competition without obligation

While the first two reasons are pretty self-explanatory, the third probably needs elucidation.  With La’el Collins in the last year of his deal, the future is unsettled at right tackle. Furthermore, Collins struggled last and may be better suited back inside to guard (where he played his first two seasons).

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Perhaps an open competition between Collins and Fleming is just what we need for one of them to step up on the edge. Collins will probably still win out, but a little competition could only help. Worst case scenario, Fleming wins the RT job and the Dallas Cowboys move Collins inside to G.

Note: I’ve always projected Connor Williams as a tackle and think he could be the long-term answer at either tackle spot should Dallas lose either Tyron or La’el.

Cam Fleming is the perfect investment because he’s good enough to compete for a starting job but inexpensive enough to warrant any starting obligation. Additionally, his presence doesn’t prevent the Cowboys from drafting a tackle in the upcoming draft.

If the Dallas Cowboys don’t sign Fleming, they’ll either feel obligated to sign an more expensive free agent on the market (one they know less about), or invest early in the NFL Draft (a time when you don’t want any obligations).

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Cam Fleming isn’t flashy, but he’s young, cheap, and relatively proven. Provided he can compete for a starting job, he’d probably be willing to come back again this season. If the money is right for Dallas, and opportunity is there for Cam, this could be a very under-the-radar signing that could help the Cowboys in a big way.

  • Published on 03/08/2019 at 12:06 PM
  • Last updated at 03/08/2019 at 12:06 PM