1. Steve Avila, TCU
Another player with great versatility is Stev Avila from TCU. During his time with the Horned Frogs, Avila spent time at both guard and center. He’s a three-year starter who has a great mix of power and athleticism.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 332 pounds, he was the second-highest-rated guard at the Scouting Combine according to NFL.com. Even so, they say he should be a day two pick — but if he ends up going early in the second round, that might make him too rich for the Cowboys.
Having said that, he would be well worth the investment — long-term. We know the offensive line looks fine with Tyron Smith starting at left tackle and Tyler Smith at left guard. But we already saw the younger Smith have to kick out to tackle when Tyron Smith went down with an injury last year.
When he did return, he took over at right tackle for Terence Steele, allowing the rookie to stay on the left side where he spent most of the season. Looking forward to 2023, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Dallas need to shift players around again.
Tyron Smith is an elite player but he cannot stay healthy. He hasn’t played a full season since 2015 and adding Avila would not only provide insurance this season but he could be the starting left guard in 2024 and beyond. This would allow Tyler Smith to take over at left tackle, which was the plan when he was drafted.
Moving on from a fixture such as Tyron Smith isn’t easy but the Cowboys need to be prepared to do so and adding a starting guard will help in that endeavor.