Dallas Cowboys: Why Jordan Mills is no Swing Tackle


After whittling down their roster to 53-players on Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys front office knew they still had some work to do. Specifically, they needed to add more depth at their tackle positions along the offensive line. Former Cowboys swing tackle Jermey Parnell left for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency this offseason, leaving a major void to be fill.

Dallas believed they had an adequate replacement when they selected Florida offensive tackle Chaz Green in the third round (91st overall) in this year’s NFL Draft.  But the rookie had hip surgery in June and has now been placed on the reserve/PUP list. Week Eight is the earliest Green could return, making his rookie season pretty much a wash.

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The Cowboys looked to fourth-year veteran Darrion Weems to replace Parnell as the line’s swing tackle this offseason. Weems went undrafted out of Oregon in 2012. He bounced between four different NFL teams his rookie year before landing in Dallas.

After encouraging reports of his play this offseason, Weems inconsistency in the preseason had many questioning whether he was the right player for the swing tackle role. On Monday, the Cowboys seem to confirm those fears when they claimed third-year lineman Jordan Mills from the waiver wire.

Mills, a fifth round selection by the Chicago Bears in 2013, started a total of 29 games for the Windy City. Most of those at right tackle. A coaching change in Chicago made Mills expendable.

With two years of starting experience under his sizable belt, Mills is expected to bring quality depth to the Cowboys already stacked offensive line. But according to former NFL Scout and current analyst for DallasCowboys.com, Bryan Broaddus, the 24-year old doesn’t have the skill set to be the team’s new swing tackle.

"“Mills lined up at right tackle for the Bears. For the most part he competed well, but there were snaps where I thought he lacked that finishing push – you don’t see that nastiness down after down like you see with this Cowboys offensive line,” Broaddus wrote in an article that appeared on the team’s official site on Tuesday. “In watching Jordan Mills play, I don’t believe you have a swing tackle here. I see a right tackle only — which means that Darrion Weems will likely just focus on that left side and work to improve there.”"

The former scout blamed Mill’s lack of body control, balance and slow feet as reasons that limited his versatility as a swing tackle candidate. This is potentially devastating news for the Cowboys.

Although Dallas may have an adequate replacement in case starting right tackle Doug Free goes down, the left tackle spot will likely have Weems as it’s potential replacement. And if the preseason is any indication, that could have dangerous implications for 35-year old starting quarterback Tony Romo. Let’s all just hope starting left tackle Tyron Smith stays very healthy this season.

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