Dallas Cowboys to employ problematic O-line strategy

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports /

They say, necessity is the mother of invention. Well, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a rather precarious situation on their offensive line – one that obligates them to explore a less than ideal prescription.

The precarious situation in which the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in today is the unsettled nature at both left and right tackle. Without a clean replacement to plug in, Joe Philbin will be forced to set a rotation on the offensive line; an innovative but also problematic, solution to the problem at hand.

The Dallas Cowboys will be forced to rotate offensive linemen which is a problematic, yet necessary, solution to their problem.

When Terence Steele went down to a season-ending knee injury last Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys had to scramble fast to find a suitable replacement.

After wading in the waters of Josh Ball (and nearly drowning) the Dallas Cowboys leaned on 53-year NFL veteran, Jason Peters (slight exaggeration), to man the post. While Peters performed admirably in his first action at RT since 2006 (A time so long ago, Drew Bledsoe was the Cowboys starting QB), he doesn’t appear to be game-long solution for Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys have indicated Josh Ball would, for some reason, work in tandem with Peters at RT. It’s possible this is because the soon-to-be 41-year-old Peters is physically unable to carry a full workload. It’s also possible the Cowboys are committed to developing Ball.

Whatever the reason, rotating offensive linemen is a problematic strategy that most teams try to avoid. But it’s a strategy the Dallas Cowboys are doubling down on…

Tyron Smith, out since the preseason, is set to make his 2022 debut this week in Jacksonville. But like Peters on the right side, he’s not expected to carry a full workload. Tyler Smith, the Dallas Cowboys rookie LG-turned-LT, is expected to rotate between the two portside positions until Tyron can become a full-time tackle again.

The rotation at LT, LG, and RT is atypical of most offensive lines and something offensive line guru Duke Manyweather unabashedly advocates against.

Offensive linemen work with each other as a unit. Facing many complex pass-rush and run-fit schemes, they need to know how and when to pass off attackers. Just as important, they must trust their teammates are on the same page as them. One miscommunication can result in a free shot at the franchise quarterback, which inevitably comes with landslide of terrible repercussions.

Each linemen has varying degrees of experience and different strengths and weaknesses. Teammates will have to recognize all of this with each rotation and adjust accordingly. Additionally, Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore will need to keep this in mind when calling plays and audibles.

So while conditioning factors may necessitate an offensive line rotation, it’s far from ideal and requires constant attention from all members of the offense in order to avoid disaster and keep the offense moving.

Ideally, this is just a one-game band aid for the Dallas Cowboys offense and when Dallas takes the field on Christmas Eve against the Eagles, Jason Peters and Tyron Smith will be locked in full-time as bookends.

But here in the short-term, the Dallas Cowboys don’t seem to have much of a choice and therefore must innovate. Hopefully, it won’t come back to bite them…

Can Jason Peters be an upgrade to Terence Steele at RT?. light. Must Read

Next. The Cowboys plan with Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith going forward.... dark

Rotating offensive linemen is a problematic strategy that should be avoided if at all possible. But the Dallas Cowboys seem destined to rotate personnel at LT, LG, and RT this week and will have to take on the added responsibilities that come with it.