The formation of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been a matter of debate this offseason. On one hand you have the natural desire to “get the five best offensive linemen on the field” for 2023 and on the other hand you have the long-term interests of the club in mind.
For Dallas to get the “five best,” they likely have to feature a line of Tyron – Tyler – Biadasz – Zack – Terence (left-to-right). Tyron and Tyler have position flex and tapping into that resource they can situate the line quite easily.
Yet, instead, the Dallas Cowboys have decreed Tyler Smith will be the left tackle in 2023. The consequences of which will have a trickle-down effect on the roster and seemingly disregard the desire to get the five best on the field together in 2023.
For many, this has been hard to digest.
The Dallas Cowboys are focused on developing and maximizing Tyler Smith for the long-term which is why he’s the LT today.
Left tackle is generally regarded as the most important offensive line position in the NFL. It’s drafted the highest, paid the most, and given the toughest tasks. It takes a special set of skills to play tackle in the NFL and playing on a QB’s blindside (left side of the line for teams with right-handed QBs), the stakes are high.
Special LTs are treated like gold. Unlike guard and center, they are often blue-chip prospects drafted high. Over the past decade, tackles have been one of the most frequently drafted first round positions in the NFL.
Guards are drafted later. They’re paid less and their impact is less… well, impactful.
If a team thinks they have a cornerstone LT on their roster, they see that through. They don’t let him moonlight for a couple years at guard and risk stunting his development at LT.
The Cowboys are looking at this situation long-term. They know they aren’t maximizing the short-term output but it’s worth it to them.
For the same reason they don’t have Dak Prescott run the ball 5-7 time per game. Would it improve the offense each week if Dak ran more? Sure. But it would also risk his long-term health so they think bigger picture and save his running plays for high leverage situations. It’s the same way with Tyler. The big picture wins.
There’s also the draft to think about.
Fans and media want to build a line with the best five with the pieces they have today. The Cowboys appear to have every intention of adding a lineman to the mix in the first two days of the draft. They want to build a solid five AFTER they’ve finished building their roster.
That’s why they have Terence Steele playing swing tackle and an empty hole at LG. They haven’t finished executing the plan and have no intention of rolling into training camp as it looks today.
Dallas Cowboys are focused on the big picture
For instance: Let’s say little Jimmy has a chance to be a neurosurgeon. It will take time an effort but he’s shown the skills and ability to be one if he just dedicates himself. But then some say Jimmy is also great burger flipper and he could carve out a great role, right away, if he just gives up those neurosurgeon ambitions and maximizes himself in the moment.
It’s all about long-term vs short-term and the Dallas Cowboys are focused on the long-term.
LT beats LG every time.