Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a frequent visitor on 105.3 The Fan and as much as he loves to talk, he can also be vague or coy on certain issues. Today was not one of those days as he could have left a competitive advantage slip.
Jerry Jones was asked about the right tackle situation and he admitted that the Cowboys are going to start second-year undrafted free agent Terrance Steele at Right tackle this Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. That is if starting right tackle La’el Collins is really unavailable this Sunday as he has been suspended.
Starting Steele might not be that big of a surprise although count me in as one of the guys who thinks right guard All-Pro Zach Martin should have gotten the nod. Steele actually started last season against Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams on the Sunday night opener.
The Dallas Cowboys will give Terence Steele starting duties in Week 2
Football likes to intertwine stories all the time and Steele will get his 15th career start almost a year after getting his first in the same stadium. How many people realized Steele started so many games already? Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
Pro Football Focus is usually the barometer many fans base their opinions on so it is no surprise to see PFF gave Steele a 50.3 rating. PFF rated David Bakhtiari (pre-injury) as their top-rated tackle for the 2021 NFL season. Bakhtiari posted a 91.8-grade last season so take that for what it’s worth.
So now you know what the fans think and also what the expert analytic data experts say about him and it’s not good. Don’t discard Steele just yet. Steele did not have the luxury of a normal offseason because of covid and expecting him to start and play well after going undrafted was a classic case of setting someone up for failure.
Now that Steele has had a chance to catch his breath, this might not be as crazy as some might think. The Cowboys have had a revolving door at the swing tackle position. Because of injuries and now suspensions, that position has clearly become a necessity.
This could be a deliberate move in order to find out how Steele has responded to an offseason of strength training and football study hall. I do not think this coaching would put Dak Prescott in a situation that would increase his chances of getting hurt. Steele has fans in the only room that matters so maybe he can be the swing tackle of the future who is auditioning now.
It could also be a strategic move where the team could have let that slip that he is starting yet they could have a short hook for Steele in order to make way for Martin. I assume the Chargers will study tape on Martin anyways or be unprepared when McCarthy pulls that rabbit out of his hat. Either way, the performance of Steele this weekend will only add to the infuriating La’el Collins situation.