Dallas Cowboys Draft Profile: Beefing Up the OLine – Jaxson Kirkland

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /

At the end of the season, the Dallas Cowboys had a better offensive line than many expected. Granted the early injuries to Tyron Smith made the team quiver a bit. The late injury to Terence Steele had the team on the ropes but as fate would have it Tyron Smith was able to come back to solidify the offensive line (on the right side).

What the team learned along with fans is that you need to have big bodies ready to step up when the need arises.

With the need for more big bodies, the Dallas Cowboys should have a sit down with versatile offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland.

The Dallas Cowboys were able to get out of the 2022 season but what happens if some of those same linemen are not able return next year. Connor McGovern’s status is up in the air. Tyron Smith is wanted back by the executive team, but we are in a wait and see phase.

Will Terrence Steele be healthy? All huge question marks. If you have question marks, you have problems and if you have problems, particularly on the offensive line, add as many big bodies as you can early in the process.

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Jaxson Kirkland should be a part of the Dallas Cowboys draft process. He is a “tall” fella. Standing at 6’7″ and weighing in at340-pound.  This interior offensive lineman from the University of Washington comes with the famous position flex title. Over the last three seasons, he’s played both the left tackle position as well as left guard. You have to respect players that bet on themselves and take a risk at playing a new position. That’s exactly what this prospect did.

When you watch his 2021 tape, you see a player who’s not a great athlete, but he gets out of his stance very well. He is a pass blocking technician who is very skilled in that area. Turn on 2022 tape when he plays left guard.

He uses his massive frame to his advantage. He looked comfortable playing in a ‘telephone booth’ and using those long arms to control the defender. From time to time, you’ll see him pulling showing that he is not overly athletic but has the technical skills to get the job done. PFF gave him an 82.6 pass blocking grade at left guard which should put a smile on Mike McCarthy’s face.

It is weird sometimes watching him play guard at his height. Typically, the interior linemen have a more compact build. At 6’7″, he is breathing rare air. At that height, he will lose his fair share of leverage battles against defensive linemen.

However, he has plenty of traits that are worth a draft pick investment. Decent movement skills, large frame, long arms and experience playing multiple positions. That’s what a team like the Dallas Cowboys who want to make a playoff run should covet.

NFL Draft Projection: The interior offensive linemen group isn’t spectacular by any means. To be completely honest, you may not have a true first round pick at the position. Players will get pushed up because of need and traits. With Jaxson Kirkland, you get a player that is experienced at playing but what position will he play. It’s a problem that should not deter the Dallas Cowboys. With limited options at the position, don’t be shocked if he is a top 100 pick.