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Cowboys free agency focus: Cam Erving signing brings competition at swing tackle

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The Cowboys have brought in another veteran player, this time, it’s veteran tackle, Cam Erving.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys just keep churning the roster. Days after significantly upgrading their backup quarterback situation by signing Andy Dalton, the Cowboys were back at it this week with their swing tackle position. The Cowboys agreed to terms with former Chiefs offensive tackle Cam Erving on a one-year deal.

If the name Cam Erving rings a bell for Cowboys fans, it’s probably a memory of his brawl with former Cowboys DT David Irving, when he was with the Browns. That scuffle with David Irving got Cam Erving ejected just three minutes into the game.

Cam Erving was drafted by Cleveland with the 19th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida State. In just two seasons with the Browns, Erving would start 17 of the 29 games he appeared in at both tackle spots, right guard, left guard, and center. In 2017, the Browns soured on the versatile Erving after a calf injury took him out of the right tackle competition in training camp. On August 30th, the Browns traded him to the Chiefs in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

In his first season with the Chiefs, Erving would play in 13 games, starting three games at right guard, and one at left tackle. In May of 2018, the Chiefs declined Erving’s fifth-year option and speculation grew that he may not make the roster. However, once he got to training camp, he earned the starting left guard spot and made 13 starts in 14 games played. This past season, he would step in and start eight games at left tackle while Eric Fisher recovered from sports hernia surgery.

The Cowboys front office has made it clear that they place significant value on the swing tackle position and they decided not to retain Cam Fleming after two seasons in Dallas. The Cowboys value the experience of Erving, who has started 42 of 69 games in this league and just helped the Chiefs secure their first championship in over 50 years.

The Cowboys have perhaps one of the league’s best situations with perennial All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and La’el Collins as their bookends. However, Tyron Smith’s reoccurring back tightness has been a frequent issue that the Cowboys have had to manage. Though Smith is still among the best tackles in football when he’s healthy, he’s missed three games in each of the last four seasons. With the Cowboys looking to lock up their franchise QB Dak Prescott any day now, adding another tackle to the mix is worth it.

Though the Cowboys will have to find a successor to Travis Frederick, they’ll find someone to take the reins. When you have a battle like Joe Looney vs. Connor McGovern vs. rookie Tyler Biadasz for the center position, you are in quite a good place. Now you can add a battle for the swing tackle position. Brandon Knight impressed last season by making the team and then in limited duty during games. But the Cowboys wanted to add some experience to that mix to up the ante for the swing tackle position battle. Cam Erving has that experience.