The Dallas Cowboys, as recently as a few seasons ago, were in the running for having the best offensive line in football. The team had made an investment in the guys upfront by spending first- and second-round picks along the line, as well as signing a first-round talent that had fallen in the draft through no issues of his own.
2020 represented the deepest fall for the Cowboys offensive line from once exalted heights. Travis Frederick had already retired. La’el Collins never even saw the field with a hip injury. Tyron Smith played only a couple of games before he was put on the shelf with injury. Zack Martin ended up missing a large part of the season, too. Even the center position saw a rotation of Joe Looney and Tyler Biadasz as both ran into injury issues.
It’s the health of the big three, Smith, Martin and Collins, that is the most crucial heading into 2021. We have heard good reports from the Star, and Stephen Jones confirmed that they expect all three to be fully healed and ready to play in 2021.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said on @1053thefan he believes LT Tyron Smith (neck), RT La’el Collins (hip) and RG Zack Martin (calf) will be “as good as we’ve seen them in a long time. They’re healthy. They’re over their injuries.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 23, 2021
Offensive line has been a need that has been debated heading into the draft. Mainly because of Tyron Smith’s age and his constant injury history over the last four seasons or so. The team will still probably fortify the position with a few offensive linemen in the draft, although bringing in Ty Nsekhe in free agency gives them some flexibility.
In the end, though, for the Cowboys to be truly competitive in 2021, Smith, Martin and Collins will need to stay healthy. It’s good to hear they are on that track.