NFL, you’ve been warned. The Dallas Cowboys, a team never short on preseason hype, may actually be UNDER-hyped this year. This reality is made possible by the return of the once vaunted offensive line.
For years the Dallas Cowboys offensive line had been getting by on pure reputation rather than their production on the field. Not since 2016 have they been fully healthy and humming as a unit, but for the first time in half-a-decade they appear to be back. Like, really back.
While Dak Prescott and his arsenal of weapons have been getting all the attention, the offensive line has flown under the radar. After years of disappointment, it’s understandable the national media has grown skeptical of their ability to still dominate.
But that could be a mistake because the stars are aligning for a resurgence on the O-line and it could make all the difference between the Dallas Cowboys being a contender or a pretender in 2021. Let’s break it down…
Dallas Cowboys Left Tackle: Tyron Smith
The most important position on this offensive line is that of the starting left tackle. The position tasked with protecting Dak’s blindside inevitably sets the tone on the O-line.
A good one can be trusted to dominate one-on-one without the QB looking over his shoulder and fearing for his life. A bad LT can force offenses to slide protection his way. He can take a possible pass target (like a TE or RB) off his route and into pass-protection, reducing the number of options down field. Worse yet, a poor LT can get your QB1 killed, subsequently ending your season in an instant.
Luckily for us, Tyron Smith is a very, very good LT.
The national media is sleeping on Tyron this season for the same reason many in Cowboys Nation are – he’s been declining for years and can’t seem to ever stay on the field. But that issue may have been finally corrected and there’s reason to believe Tyron, at age 30, will be back to his former self in 2021.
Tyron has been slowed by neck and back injuries for the past few seasons. Even when he’s managed to play on Sundays, he’s been noticeably hampered and operating with limited strength and mobility. But even a hampered Tyron is a top-10 LT in the NFL. Still, that’s a far cry from how dominant he used to be.
It’s understandable Tyron’s been avoiding surgery throughout his career. Surgery ain’t fun and it’s long been said, “the only minor surgery is a surgery happening to someone else.” So it’s perfectly understandable Tyron put it off until he absolutely couldn’t anymore.
But this offseason Tyron had his surgery and he’s fully back in time for the 2021 season. The issue has largely been alleviated and Tyron is dedicated to the job and eager to put naysayers to bed. How good can a pain-free Tyron be? We’re about to find out.