Dallas Cowboys: One last chance for Chaz Green
After a historically poor performance against the Falcons in 2017, the Dallas Cowboys seemed ready to move on from offensive lineman Chaz Green.
At a critical point in the Dallas Cowboys season last year, no one failed harder than offensive lineman Chaz Green. Facing the Atlanta Falcons at home in a Week 10 matchup, the 5-3 Cowboys were facing their first opponent without running back Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield.
Elliott, the fourth overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, had just been levied with a six-game suspension for suspected domestic violence by the league. But Zeke wasn’t the only Pro Bowler the Cowboys were missing in that game as left tackle Tyron Smith was also absent, but due to injuries to both his back and groin.
In Smith’s place, former third round selection Chaz Green would get the start. After starting the first three games of the season at left guard, Green was replaced by Jonathan Cooper and was regulated back to the bench. As the team’s swing tackle, it was his job to fill in for the injured Smith against Atlanta.
Unfortunately, Green’s poor performance that day sparked a three-game losing streak by the Cowboys and, for many, essentially ended his disappointing career in Dallas. Both Green, and backup tackle Byron Bell, allowed Falcons’ defensive end Adrian Clayborn to record an embarrassing 6.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in that season-changing game.
Prior to that outstanding Week 10 performance, Clayborn had not posted more than 5.5 sacks in a single season since his rookie year in 2011 when he had 7.5 sacks. The 29-year old pass rusher would go on to only record a total of 9.5 sacks in 2017.
Up to that point in his three-year career, Green had reserved his poor performances to the preseason. And when he was asked to fill-in for Smith during the regular season in the past, actually more than held his own. It was one of the reasons the Cowboys believed he could be a starter at left guard when the season started.
Prior to that game in Atlanta, Green’s biggest issue was simply staying healthy, as a hip injury has been a recurring theme. In the offseason, a shoulder injury slowed his transition from tackle to guard and delayed the Cowboys decision on whom would replace Ronald Leary in the starting lineup. Back surgery had ended his season early just the year before.
Next: 2018 NFL Mock Draft - Full first round
After the debacle in Atlanta, Chaz Green didn’t play a single offensive snap the rest of the season in Dallas. At this point, it is unclear if the Cowboys will even keep Green on the roster. But the 25-year old offensive lineman still has one year left on his rookie contract. And we’ve seen players step up and play their best football when their job is on the line. With an new offensive line coach now at the helm in Paul Alexander, this might be Green’s one last chance to save his NFL career.