This might sound funny after we all witnessed last season but the Dallas Cowboys have a really good problem at offensive tackle. It all starts with Tyron Smith and La’el Collins who appear healthy and ready to take over as the league’s best bookends.
The team conducted their usual swing tackle signee by bringing in mammoth journeyman Ty Nsekhe but the two players who were vilified last year have had an offseason of watching a mass amount of film to work on their flaws.
Those two players are tackles, Brandon Knight and Terance Steele at the very least should have competitive battles with the defense come training camp. I did not even mention rookie Josh Ball who the team drafted in the fourth round or Mitch Hyatt who was lost to a significant injury last year. Hyatt was a four year starter at left tackle for the University of Clemson.
The funny thing about figuring out the tackle situation, I believe that after Nsekhe, the next best option for the Dallas Cowboys would be to kick Zack Martin out to tackle and replace him at guard. Multiple moving parts on game day isn’t ideal but it does give fans let alone the coaching staff confidence that they aren’t missing much when Martin plays on the edge.
If the team keeps four tackles with Martin serving as an emergency fifth, this means the team has one too many players at the position. Sure the team would probably like to stash one of them on the practice squad but tackles with starting experience would be a good get for another team that is thin at the position.
That makes this group a good candidate to sell from. Tyron Smith and La’el Collins figure to be the opening day starters and I doubt the Cowboys give up on a fourth-round pick so early especially all the grief they took for selecting him in the first place.
That only leaves Knight and Steele as the obvious choices. Both players played way more than they probably envisioned so it is going to be interesting how much they have learned and progressed. I am especially intrigued with Steele.
Steele was an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech University who had questions about his bend and heavy footwork. If he worked on his flaws this offseason, Steele could be a surprise candidate for swing tackle of the future.
Like many others, I think Brandon Knight projects better as a guard. The Cowboys have their starters set at guard so maybe Knight shifts over and plays a position he is better suited to play. This essentially gives the team an extra tackle by carrying him at guard and after what happened last year, it wouldn’t shock me if this was the move.
I am interested to see what a team is willing to pay for insurance at the position. It currently looks like this is the group the team will move forward with but who knows what type of compensation the Cowboys could get in return. The front office needs to be flexible with this position group.