Dallas Cowboys Draft: Meet Emil Ekiyor, G, Alabama

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The interior offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys continues to be a topic of conversation. The signing of former Jets and Falcons offensive guard Chuma Edoga was greeted with a unanimous shoulder shrug by Cowboys nation. That signing should be looked at as a temporary fix or a band aid for the interior offensive line group.

This team needs to continue building up the depth of its interior. Will Tyler Smith play guard or tackle? That question needs to be addressed at least within the front office. My thoughts are probably aligned with the masses. Tyler Smith will be the starting left tackle; Tyron Smith will be the swing tackle and they’ll address that guard spot in the draft or free agency. With that plan, you preserve Tyron, prepare for the future and minimize any type of multiple shifting on your line.

With that said, let’s talk options. Emil Ekiyor, Jr. out of Alabama won’t be a flashy player. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t hear his name until the actual draft. But he is a steady player and sometimes that is all you need if you target someone later in the draft.

Ekiyor goes about 6’2″ 314 pounds which is good size for an interior offensive lineman. He’s not too small where he’ll consistently get overpowered but he not too big where he’ll be a liability in space. He has 33 7/8-inch arms which is good for an interior offensive lineman. His size profile has me wondering if he could kick in a bit further and play some center if the team needed him to.

There’s no tape on him playing that position in college but he played his fair share of right guard which is another concern. However, it’s not one the team couldn’t get over. According to PFF, he’s played a total of 2598 snaps out of the total 2600 snaps at the right guard position. That’s a level of consistency you don’t see every day, but it leaves something to be desired from a versatility standpoint. That’s not to say he can’t do it. We just haven’t seen him do it.

He doesn’t a decent job reaching players at the second level. He can sometimes get off balance but nothing a good offensive line can’t coach. At the fourth or fifth rounds, this player would be very serviceable for the Dallas Cowboys. He fills an immediate need at the backup guard spot and could fight for that starting spot next to Tyler Smith.

This is the part that Dallas Cowboys fans may check out on. The power isn’t the best which is why he is hanging out on Day three. 23 reps of 225 pounds at the NFL combine isn’t a complete failure but you would expect more considering Chandler Zavala threw up 30 at this pro day recently. His injury history is relatively clean other than a shoulder injury his suffered in 2021.

Drafttek is mocking him at a similar place that I believe he’ll land. They have him in the fifth round going to the Denver Broncos. The Dallas Cowboys still have pick 169 in the fifth round. If he falls that far, it would be wise for Dallas to invest in a player of his caliber.