Why the Cowboys shouldn’t draft an offensive lineman in the first round
With the NFL Draft approaching, the Dallas Cowboys are likely trying to figure out who best suits their team. There have been plenty of names that could be linked to Dallas’ selection at the 10th pick. These names include cornerback Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech, cornerback Patrick Surtain II of Alabama, offensive tackle Rashawn Slater of Northwestern, and even guard Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC.
Selecting an offensive lineman could be beneficial to the Cowboys especially after struggling in that department in 2020. This unit was arguably one of the worst last season as they ranked 27th worst in the league, according to pff.com.
It seemed that Dallas’ offensive line struggled to protect their quarterbacks as well as create big lanes for running back Ezekiel Elliott. They ranked bottom seven in sacks given up for the season (43) and Elliott only averaged 4.0 yards per carry, a career-low.
As a result, this could be seen as a huge reason why the Cowboys couldn’t get anything going on offense at times. However, their top three offensive linemen (Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins) were all injured the majority of the season.
It’s safe to assume that the Cowboys still have a very gifted offensive line, so they should likely avoid selecting one with the 10th pick. With a full offseason, their offensive line should back to full strength. Don’t forget this was a unit that ranked third coming into 2020 by Pro Football Focus.
Why shouldn’t the Dallas Cowboys select an offensive line in the first round?
Even though the offensive line position is likely the most underrated one on a team, the Cowboys still have plenty of talent there to pass on it in the first round. Therefore, they should be thinking about the team’s biggest need with their selection (defense) instead of trying to improve their offensive line from great to elite.
This Dallas offensive line can still be seen as one of the most respectable in the game. When Martin, Smith, and Collins are all healthy, this line can still perform at an elite level.
In 2019, these three players gave up only three sacks combined. Assuming that they will all be ready to go and healthy for the 2021 season, there possibly isn’t a direct need for this position first.
The Cowboys also have young players on the roster like left guard Connor Williams (23) and center Tyler Biadasz (23) who took on a bigger role for the team last season. Additionally, the Cowboys can choose to re-sign tackle Cameron Erving and/or center Joe Looney who are both set to become free agents this offseason.
It appears that the Dallas Cowboys remain very skilled at the offensive line position. Due to this, they should pass on that position with the 10th overall pick. They should however keep adding to the offensive line by selecting at least two in this year’s draft.