Dallas Cowboys: Grading Jerry Jones’ 2021 draft class

Micah Parsons, Penn State (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Micah Parsons, Penn State (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Marshall Thundering Herd
Marshall Thundering Herd (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

OT. Marshall 6'7 308 LBS. JoshBall (138). 494. Scouting Report. 4. player. Pick Analysis

There are concerns over the health and long-term availability of left tackle Tyron Smith. He missed at least three games the past five seasons, including 14 games in 2020. That likely influenced Jerry Jones to draft Marshall’s left tackle Josh Ball.

He looks like the towering player you want to anchor quarterback Dak Prescott’s blindside. He shows impressive strength on tape and with his 28 reps of 225 pounds. He has above-average speed and agility, but it should be enough to handle shifty pass rushers and to lead block on runs.

When you watch the tackle play, you see a powerful tackle that likes to dominate his assignment. Unfortunately, sometimes he can get caught on counter moves as he tries to overpower them. While his play should have him drafted earlier, his character concerns are something to watch.

Who knows how much longer Tyron Smith will be playing in the NFL? Back injuries tend to stick around, and Smith isn’t getting any younger.

Ball will be a reliable backup swing tackle unless an injury creeps up, or Smith is no longer a Cowboy. That’s as long as he shores up his off-the-field issues, like what got him booted from Florida State. Using a fourth-rounder to pick a soon-to-be starting-caliber player is a win in my books.

Grade: B-