Evaluating the Cowboys offensive line for the 2023 season

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders / Rob Carr/GettyImages

When we look back at the Dallas Cowboys' success throughout the franchise's history, much credit goes to their great offensive lines.

The Triplets don’t lead Dallas to three Super Bowl titles without the Great Wall of Dallas. An improved offensive line allowed them to be much more competitive and compete for a title in the later years of the Tony Romo era and into the early years of Dak Prescott. 

As we head into the 2023 season, the unit has changed a lot over the last few years. Some old faces and future hall of famers remain, and others who know their time is now to step up and help this offense take shape. Let’s look at where the Cowboys' offensive line stands. 

Cowboys OL Depth Chart

Tackles - Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Terrance Steele, Josh Ball, T. J. Bass, Earl Bostick Jr, Asim Richards, Alex Taylor, Matt Waletzko 

Guards - Zack Martin, Chuma Edoga, Tyler Smith 

Center - Tyler Biadasz, Alec Lindstrom, Matt Farniok, Brock Hoffman

Projected Starting Unit 

LT: Tyron Smith 

LG: Tyler Smith 

C: Tyler Biadasz 

RG: Zack Martin 

RT: Terrance Steele 

A season ago, the Cowboys offensive line looked completely different. After some key departures from 2021, Dallas was forced to address the unit high in the 2022 draft. Going into 2023, the team should feel good about their starting unit, but health and depth issues are a concern. 

Left Tackle: There is some sorting out to do here. Tyron Smith has been the guy since 2011. However, Smith has not played a full season since 2015 and has missed 33 games in the last three seasons. The Cowboys did have a plan b in last year's first-round pick Tyler Smith.

The rookie Smith was forced to step in after the veteran Smith went down with a torn hamstring in practice. While the panic button was hit early, the Cowboys were able to watch the young Smith start all 17 contests as left tackle and end his rookie season on the PFWA all-rookie team. Other potential backups include Matt Waletzko entering his second season, and Josh Ball, entering year three. 

Left Guard: Last year's starter Connor McGovern is now a Buffalo Bill. The Cowboys will miss his versatility. Now let’s assume Tyron Smith is healthy going into week one. Then we can expect the second-year Tyler Smith to operate the left guard spot, where he was originally slated to play. A Smith and Smith duo could be very beneficial for this offense if healthy. It is also worth noting Terence Steele also did see some action at left guard last season. 

Center: According to Pro Football Focus, Tyler Biadasz held his own as he notched his first career Pro Bowl in 2022, albeit as an injury replacement. Biadasz allowed zero sacks and committed just five penalties all last season. Behind Biadasz are Alec Lindstrom and Matt Farniok 

Right Guard: Not much is needed to be mentioned about Zack Martin. He is now entering his 10th season and remains one of the best guards in the game today and of all time. Martin will wear a gold jacket one day. 

Right Tackle: The Cowboys will welcome back Terence Steele at right tackle. Steele was lost for the season in December against Houston to a torn ACL and MCL. This move forced Tyron Smith, in his return, to swing over to right tackle. 

While Dallas has a capable starting unit up front, the biggest questions they face are whether they will role with Tyler Smith at left tackle or does Tyron Smith reassume his starting spot. If not, does he play right tackle? If so, what about Steele? He may play left guard. We will have our answers going into week one. 

The concern is injuries and depth. Many were surprised the Cowboys didn’t address depth on the line earlier in the draft. The Cowboys only spent a fifth-round selection (Asim Richards) on the offensive line. While the team seems to have five quality starters up front, the Cowboys were injured and forced to shuffle around up front. 

Unsurprisingly, any team going into a season understands that they need more than just five capable starters up front. Injuries are part of the game but will the depth be enough to hold up, especially in a division full of talented defensive fronts? 

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