Cowboys News: Sanity prevails amid OL discourse, Jason Witten offers advice to Luke Schoonmaker

Sep 8, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates after the
Sep 8, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates after the / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys fans have been up in arms over the discourse surrounding the offensive line's potential realignment.

Back during the owner's meetings, Jerry Jones hinted at the possibility of Terence Steele operating as the backup swing tackle behind Tyron Smith and Tyler Smith. There's also been speculation of moving Steele inside to guard.

Neither switch makes sense. Steele moved mountains as the Cowboys' starting right tackle. As long as he's healthy following ACL surgery and he keeps up a similar level of performance, he should continue in that role.

The "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mantra applies here. Steele is already an elite run blocker and made strides in pass protection in 2022, while Tyron Smith wasn't convincing filling in at right tackle after Steele went down last year.

Thankfully, Stephen Jones quelled any and all concerns about the offensive line. Per Jones, the team will start its best five linemen: Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Terence Steele and Zack Martin.

Cowboys OL headed in right direction after Stephen Jones' comments

We don't say this often, but thank you, Stephen Jones. We're not sure what Jerry was getting at with Steele converting to a swing tackle. Perhaps the owner was trying to throw team's off the scent of the Cowboys' actual plans for their OL, but there's a difference in being deceitful and inciting panic in a fan base.

Based on Stephen Jones' remarks, Dallas' starting five should look as follows: Tyron Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard and Terence Steele at right tackle. It's really not that difficult, and the only time it should change is if injury strikes.

Now that that's (hopefully) settled, we can move on.

A position group that doesn't have nearly as much uncertainty is tight end. It's unlikely second-round pick Luke Schoonmaker starts right out of the gate, but big things are expected from the former Michigan standout.

While Schoonmaker is technically replacing Dalton Schultz, the rookie tight end understands some great TEs have passed through the franchise. None are more prominent than Jason Witten, whom Schoonmaker studied after the draft and ultimately reached out to via text.

Cowboys' Luke Schoonmaker reached out to Jason Witten for advice

Here's the piece of advice Witten offered the rookie.

“He didn’t have to reach out to me, but obviously I’m pulling for him,” Witten said, via ESPN's Todd Archer. “I know it’s a tough transition. He’s got a lot of great resources, that’s what I told him. Get in the back pocket of Dak [Prescott] and Zack [Martin]. Watch them train, watch them study, watch them recover, watch how they lead, what kind of teammates they are, what they do in the weight room, and he’ll be just fine. I know he’s got great guys to follow.”

It's simple advice, yet so valuable. Witten and Schoonmaker have plenty of time to chop it up about the x's and o's of the tight end position.

For now, the former Wolverine should focus on learning the playbook and developing optimal off-field habits. Once he develops a work ethic akin to Dak Prescott and Zack Martin and the other veterans in the locker room, he'll find improving his on-field skillset much easier.

Nobody knows that better than Witten.

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