Let’s chalk this up in the “things that are concerning Cowboys fans” column, shall we? After watching their offensive line crater last season and losing two of their five starters just this month, the Dallas Cowboys have done exactly “jack squat” to fix the issue this offseason.
While the offseason is young, good options are drying up and a weakness of 2021 appears to be even weaker heading into 2022.
Despite what places like Pro Football Focus want to tell you, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line wasn’t good last season. They struggled in both phases of the game and made life miserable for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott down the stretch.
Passing efficiency plummeted after the bye week and the running game was a detriment, producing a negative EPA on more plays than not, and finishing with a net loss in expected points overall.
The Dallas Cowboys have done nothing to address their major deficiencies on the O-line this offseason.
Even if they devote major resources to the O-line in the 2022 NFL Draft, they’re going to need to use two of their top-3 picks to even have a shot at upgrading over last season.
Connor Williams has signed with Miami, and La’el Collins was cut outright. Fans may not love what those two brought to the table last year but it was certainly better than what’s waiting in the wings on the Dallas Cowboys depth chart right now.
And no, this isn’t a shot at Terence Steele. Steele was fine last year bouncing between the right and left side of the line. While he was a below average starter, he was exponentially better than his rookie season and could prove to be a long-term answer at tackle.
The depth at tackle has taken a major hit with the loss of Collins. Josh Ball, last seasons’ red shirt rookie, is the best option at swing tackle. Only problem is we’ve seen nothing of the Day 3 pick to feel remotely safe with him eventually starting in place of Tyron Smith (which will inevitably happen at some point).
The hole Connor Williams leaves is a direct shot at “next man up”, Connor McGovern. McGovern was rough in his starts last season. For as likeable as McGovern was as a FB and extra TE, he was hard to like as a LG. Dak didn’t trust him to pick up the stunts/games and the entire line suffered.
To those penciling in McGovern to the hole at LG, I’d think twice. We’ve seen enough of him at LG to not see him as a viable option. So here we have a starting role that needs to get filled.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!
Tyler Biabasz was a well below average at center last season and has clear physical limitations that may never be overcome. He improved as the season went on, but he remains somewhat limited.
Combined with the issues at LG, and the middle of the line is a major cause for concern next season. Keep in mind, Biadasz is struggling to carry his own weight, he can’t be asked to help out the guy next to him like Travis Fredrick used to.
Unless the Dallas Cowboys use the trade market, the draft is the best way to address this need (since Bradley Bozeman is now off the market). J.C. Tretter is the only remaining good option in free agency and there’s virtually no rumblings around the Stars that Stephen Jones is interested (a mistake in my mind).
That’s a lot of pressure for the Draft. An interior offensive lineman is by far the most important position to address in the first round IMO and even then the situation is far from resolved.