New favorite to be Cowboys 2023 first-round pick feels obvious
By Jerry Trotta
The Dallas Cowboys community is up in arms after Jerry Jones hinted at a potential offensive line realignment in 2023.
Jones told reporters at the owner’s meetings that Terence Steele, who started 13 games at right tackle in 2022 before an ACL tear ended his season, is best served as team’s swing tackle serving as the backup to Tyler Smith (left tackle) and Tyron Smith (right tackle).
Those comments were met with widespread confusion, and understandably so given the season Steele put together in 2022, and the simple fact that he’s the better right tackle than Smith, who turns 33 in December and has played 17 of a possible 50 regular season games the last three years.
Jones didn’t dismiss using someone in-house to play left guard, but he noted the draft is the best spot to address the vacancy.
Might the Cowboys play it safe and fill the void in Round 1? If so, it feels like TCU offensive lineman Steve Avila is the overwhelming favorite.
Why do we say that? Well, Avila himself is enamored with the idea of staying in-state and getting drafted by Dallas.
TCU OL Steve Avila wants to be drafted by the Cowboys
So the Cowboys need interior offensive line help and a prospect who will likely be available late in the first round wants to stay in Texas? Much like Dallas drafting Texas running back Bijan Robinson, Avila to the Cowboys feels like a match made in heaven.
The kicker here is that Robinson is a Tuscon, AZ native, whereas Avila grew up in Arlington, TX, attended South Grand Prairie High School and played in college at TCU.
Avila’s called Texas home for the entirety of his life and got a taste of what it’s like to play at AT&T Stadium this past season when the Horned Frogs locked horns with Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game. The above video makes it abundantly clear Avila wants to continue playing ball in Texas.
When you couple Avila’s Texas routes, his infatuation with playing for the Cowboys, Jones dropping draft hints, and Dallas’ need for interior OL depth, you get the sense the former Horned Frog will end up at The Star.
It wouldn’t be a sexy pick by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s nothing wrong with investing consecutive first-round picks on the offensive line.
After all, Zack Martin and Tyler Smith are the only OL under contract through 2024.
The expectation is Terence Steele will get extended, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next March if an agreement isn’t reached. As will center Tyler Biadasz, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if 2023 is Tyron Smith’s final season with the Cowboys given his injury history and that he’ll be financially expendable.
Avila wouldn’t be the “best player available” selection Dallas positioned themselves for with their aggressive start to the offseason, but he would go a long way towards adding more clarity to the offensive line beyond 2023.
Sign us up for that.