The Dallas Cowboys could have drafted a high-end with their first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft but they didn’t. They could have picked up a top-2 LG prospect in the second round but they didn’t. They could have picked up a number of options (some with LG/OT flex) in any of the first three rounds but they didn’t.
The Dallas Cowboys liked their offensive line depth before the draft and welcome a competition to claim the last starting spot on their line.
In the last presser before the draft the Cowboys brain trust of Mike McCarthy, Stephen Jones and Jerry Jones addressed the issue. They recognized the need left by Connor McGovern’s departure and hinted a rookie could be the solution.
But they also went out of their way to remind everyone who was in Dallas already and the expectations they had for those players in 2023. They specificity mentioned Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball as two mid-round draft picks (from 2022 and 2021 respectively) who were ready to take the next step in their development.
Jerry Jones talked about the financial aspect of roster building and how draft picks were expected to step up into roles and how it’s financially impossible to pay everyone, or fill every position with veterans. Just like Connor Williams and Connor McGovern before them, they needed to step up.
The Dallas Cowboys plan to have Chuma Edoga, Matt Farniok and Josh Ball all in the mix at LG. Franiok has taken the most snaps at the position for the Cowboys and has a pretty impressive physical profile to indicate he can grow into the role.
Chuma is a third round pick and Ball is a fourth round pick. All of them have measurables and pedigree. There’s no reason one or more can’t develop into, at the very least, an average NFL starter.
It’s a competition the Dallas Cowboys want. It forces their investments onto the field. It adds another inexpensive contract to the mix and doesn’t use added draft capital to do it.
Why not just move Tyler Smith inside to LG, getting the best five on the field together and call it a day? As we addressed last week, Dallas wants to develop Tyler into a franchise LT and moving him inside would stunt that development. He’s there in case of emergency but they want to avoid it at all costs.
Dallas has mini-camps and training camp to let the players duke it out and see. They have good options on the table and if their coaching staff has any clue, they should be able to develop at least one of them into a solid NFL starter.
Don’t lose sleep over the LG because the Dallas Cowboys are prepared for this.