What are the Dallas Cowboys biggest needs this offseason?

Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Khalil Mack #52, Chicago Bears, Tyron Smith #77, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Offensive tackle

I think it’s safe to say (and has been for a couple of years now) that the proverbial second great wall of Dallas is long gone. Many of the issues along the line stem from injury, but no matter how you slice it the offensive line is teetering on a full-blown problem.

If I told you that Dallas Cowboys’ great Tyron Smith was still just 30 years old, would you believe me? Probably not, but it’s true. Smith just turned 30 this past December but has been with the Cowboys for just about a decade at this point. In that time he’s racked up seven Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro nods, and was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2010s All-Decade Team.

However, he hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2015 and he missed 14 last season. Fellow tackle La’el Collins also missed the entire season in 2020. Both should be ready for the start of the 2021 season, and when they are able to play they both are still two of the top tackles in football.

However, with Terence Steele and Brandon Knight currently the next men up, the Cowboys need more help and they need to start planning for life after Smith. I can’t see the Cowboys spending big money in free agency at tackle, but the offensive line as a whole could be a position that gets heavy consideration in nearly every round of the draft.

University of Oregon’s Penei Sewell will likely be long gone by the time Dallas picks in the first round, but Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater could be in consideration if Surtain II and Farley are gone. If the Cowboys were to land either, they’d be massive gets.

In free agency, someone like Buffalo Bills’ tackle Daryl Williams could be a solid signing depending on his price, while former Cowboy Cameron Fleming could be a stop-gap swing tackle for a year if he was interested in a reunion.

Offensive linemen are never sexy picks, but they can make all the difference for an offense. With Prescott coming off a major injury, the Cowboys can’t play around. They need to find someone who can play in a pinch, and be groomed to replace Smith in the event of injury and his eventual retirement.