The Dallas Cowboys told us that they did not draft for need, but they spent a couple of their first three selections of the 2022 NFL Draft filling glaring holes on the roster at left guard (soon to be left tackle) and wide receiver.
It would be unfair to expect Tyler Smith and Jalen Tolbert to be Connor Williams and Amari Cooper right away, but if the team as a whole is going to have some sort of sustained success then they might have to be. But that is a conversation for a different day.
There was another position in which the Cowboys lost a starter over the course of the offseason. While it wasn’t left guard, it was elsewhere along the offensive line - at right tackle. Dallas chose to release La’el Collins this offseason (he wound up with the AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals as they re-shape their offensive line to hopefully win one more specific game this season), and in the process created a hole on the right edge of their line. They may have had the solution on the team already, but the pressure created exists nonetheless.
The Dallas Cowboys are making an awfully large bet on Terence Steele in 2022
Circumstances are a bit different with Terence Steele because unlike the other players who are filling in starting spots from last year, he has started for the team before. Heck, unlike the other players he has been on the team before.
2022 marks Steele’s third season with the Cowboys and there is no question that he has already provided a massive return on investment given that he joined the team as a UDFA. His rookie campaign was filled with some bumps, but it isn’t every season that rookie UDFAs are tasked with starting so much (Steele started 14 games as a rookie).
It was very clear that the Cowboys were ready to move on from La’el Collins, and while they have their reasons, he was a good player for them last year when he suited up.
PFF’s grades for last season have Collins ahead of Steele in both pass blocking (74.3 to 60.9) and run blocking (89.7 to 67.8). While it is partly logical to feel good about Steele’s future on the Cowboys it is hard to envision him being the player that Collins was at this point.
Mike McCarthy has overseen staffs that have made their hay with later-drafted linemen and Steele certainly fits that mold. The Cowboys chose to make this move and it is one of the many bets that they are planning on cashing in throughout this season, and if they are unable to then a lot of other things could fall by the wayside.
We discussed the state of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line as a whole in the latest installment of our Training Camp Preview series on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!