The Dallas Cowboys appear to be confident and settled on the offensive line. Their depth chart has remained stable throughout the preseason and pubic statements from top brass regarding their performance have been calm and cool.
Like a duck crossing a pond, appearances can be deceiving. Above water the Dallas Cowboys look as cool as a cucumber. underneath the surface they are furiously paddling their tiny legs.
Don’t let the Dallas Cowboys fool you, they are concerned with the O-line and have plans to do something.
The Dallas Cowboys act like they are up front about roster decisions and personnel, but the truth is they are about as transparent as a muddy windshield. They offer up just enough to fans and media to make it seem like they are forthcoming, but in the background they are layered in secrecy and agendas.
The Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line Today
The Cowboys have pledged their allegiance to Terence Steele at RT. They are backing Tyler Biadasz as the starting center. They are content with Josh Ball as the top back-up at tackle. And they’ve been unwavering with their placement of Connor McGovern at LG1 on the depth chart.
Raise your hand if you think that sounds like a solid idea.
As we explained a week ago, the Cowboys adore Terence Steele but he has some pretty significant deficiencies. They are aware of said deficiencies but publicly have been pretty quiet about it. Hoping his run-blocking will make up for his pass-protection issues, the Cowboys are happy to roll into the season with Steele as their RT1 – especially since he costs less than $1M this season to employ.
The Cowboys knew Biadasz was a weak link last season and that’s why they devoted so much energy to scouting center prospects in the draft. As we know, the draft didn’t fall that way for Dallas, but the Cowboys still brought in some of the top UDFAs in Alec Lindstrom and James Empey.
Last week Matt Farniok had a stellar practice week followed by a standout game. Yet the Cowboys remain committed to Biadasz publicly, even though all their actions in the background have indicated otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong, both Steele and Biadasz will likely start in Week 1, it’s just the Dallas Cowboys confidence in them isn’t as strong as they admit publicly. That’s important to understand.
Tyler Smith, a rookie back-up?
So far, Tyler Smith has yet to supplant Connor McGovern as the starting left guard. With all the other starting positions settled, does this mean the first round pick is destined for a backup-up role this year? Doubtful.
Even if Joe Philbin is a McGovern guy and never fully endorsed the Tyler Smith pick, talent and draft status win. It would extremely surprising to see Tyler ride the bench in Week 1. As we broke down two weeks ago, Smith looked the best man for the job in his first full-speed padded practice.
Tyron Smith has been in and out of practices since the spring. This is highly concerning given his sorted injury history (only has played 13 of the last 33 games). The Cowboys keep downplaying the situation but they can’t feel good about the recent track record.
On a related note, the swing tackle spot behind the two starters is extremely concerning in it’s own right. Josh Ball has not looked good in preseason action and the Dallas Cowboys don’t have any options on the roster to challenge him. They say they’re fine but reality tells us differently.
Given how fragile the starting tackle positions are, swing tackle is more important this year than it’s ever been. The Cowboys are most certainly looking around the league for better options.
The Dallas Cowboys O-line Tomorrow
Despite concerns in pass-protection, Terence Steele will be the starting RT this year. LT is Tyron’s job for as long as he can stay healthy (over/under 10 games maybe?). But Tyler Smith WILL NOT be a back-up this year, and frankly, it would be surprising to see him outside of the starting lineup in Week 1.
Tyler Biadasz is also far from a sure thing all season. While I believe he will progress this season and become a fairly average center for Dallas in 2021, I don’t think he’s above reproach and someone is going to legitimately challenge him.
Josh Ball and Matt Waletzko may one day be solid options at swing tackle but I don’t believe that day is today and I’m pretty certain the Cowboys know it. It would be surprising if a veteran wasn’t added at some point between now and their first game.
Things are not as calm and settled as they seem in Dallas.