This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys looked to fix a glaring issue from last season involving their depth at offensive tackle. The loss of Tyron Smith and La’el Collins showed just how big of a gap in talent there was from their starters to their backups. In an effort to fix this issue at swing tackle the Cowboys made two moves of note, one of which was signing veteran tackle Ty Nsekhe.
The thinking was he would be able to come in and give this team a reliable backup to either Smith or Collins if and when needed. Unfortunately, after this past Thursday’s performance in the Hall of Fame Game, the Cowboys may need to rethink their strategy due to the performance of Nsekhe and his inability to keep pressure off of the quarterbacks. There were a few times where second-year outside linebacker Alex Highsmith made Nsekhe look lost and slow out of his stance. Not a good sign for a veteran coming in to help fix the Cowboys backup offensive tackle issues from a season ago. Nsekhe is going to need a major rebound to get back on the right track in order to make this roster, or he risks the Cowboys looking to another veteran via trade or some sort and cutting him to save $1.25 million in cap space and a cap hit of half a million.
The second way the Cowboys planned to fix their issues at tackle was drafting the highly controversial Marshall left tackle Josh Ball. Ball was a player that if it weren’t for his troubled past would have been taken higher in the draft so the Cowboys were lucky there. Where they haven’t been lucky is in their ability to evaluate him in live-action against people other than his teammates. Ball wasn’t able to play in the Hall of Fame Game due to an ankle and it’s now being reported that he will miss multiple weeks with an ankle sprain. With the Cowboys next few practices against the Rams, it would have been another opportunity for this coaching staff to evaluate Ball.
The team will now have to wait, and Ball will be missing out on valuable reps in practice and in preseason games. Now with one potential swing tackle not living up to what the expectations were for him coming in, and the other out with an injury and missing out on practice and preseason reps, the Cowboys look to be heading back into the same situation as last year with Brandon Knight and Terence Steele as the primary backups. If they want to protect Dak Prescott in case of injury to either of their starting tackles, the Cowboys might have to start making phone calls to see who else is out there that might be able to help them fix their problem at the swing tackle position.