The last week has been rather rough for the Dallas Cowboys. It was just over a week ago when many Cowboys fans woke to the news that All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith would be missing a majority of the season, if not all of it. The Cowboys carried Smith on the initial 53-man roster only to place him on injured reserve in the hopes that he will return at some point this season, but that is highly optimistic at best.
That news highlighted how poorly the Cowboys prepared for what felt like his inevitable absence from the team. Unfortunately, the facts at hand are that Smith entered 2022 having missed time in six consecutive seasons, literally 100% of the Dak Prescott era.
In the time since many have suggested ways in which the Cowboys can go about “replacing” him and the most popular in-house idea thrown out has been to kick rookie Tyler Smith out to left tackle, a position he hasn’t played since June (keeping in mind he has never played in an NFL regular season game period).
Monday brought a far more proven solution for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys are signing Jason Peters to the practice squad
The writing was somewhat on the wall that the Cowboys felt like this was highly likely given that they initially left one spot of their 17-man practice squad (normally 16 but Isaac Alarcon carries an exemption) open as they put it together over the day on Wednesday. They would since go on to fill it but will clearly need to create an opening as that is where Peters is slated to wind up initially.
The #Cowboys have agreed to terms with future Hall of Fame OT Jason Peters, source said. Another year for the 40-year-old who figures to help Dallas at a position of need. The former #Eagles legend lives in Texas and now joins his hometown team.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2022
The Cowboys have agreed to a deal with Jason Peters that will have the veteran offensive tackle on the practice squad, according to source. This allows Peters, 40, to ease into work after not going to a training camp.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 5, 2022
Peters is not currently the prime version of himself but he is immediately the best left tackle on this roster. He represents stability and reliability; he played 15 games for the Chicago Bears last season and finished with the 21st-best offensive grade among tackles by PFF’s measurement. That has been the exact sort of thing that many have been screaming for the Cowboys to establish at tackle from a depth perspective.
Obviously Peters is not “depth” for this team. While we will see if this is the case in the season opener Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with it happening so soon, he is in all likelihood going to serve as the starting left tackle for this team which would allow them to carry out 80% of the offensive line that they envisioned when they started legitimately looking forward to this season.
Probable Dallas Cowboys starting offensive line after the Jason Peters signing
- LT: Jason Peters
- LG: Tyler Smith
- C: Tyler Biadasz
- RG: Zack Martin
- RT: Terence Steele
There is no question that Cowboys fans likely feel better about this group than rookie Tyler Smith out at left tackle with Connor McGovern starting at left guard. A plus of Peters’ arrival happens to be that McGovern gets to stay as interior depth which was one of the five reasons why we said this signing absolutely had to happen.
This is a great move for the Dallas Cowboys and one that certainly helps them in all of their endeavors for this season, but they should not consider themselves done addressing the offensive line and specifically the tackle position. At no point in the suggested “replacements” for Tyron Smith did anybody seriously consider Josh Ball or Matt Waletzko which is notable considering they are the two current swing tackle options for the team.
In the event that Peters has to miss time the Cowboys could move forward with their ‘Tyler Smith at left tackle and Connor McGovern at left guard’ plan, but not knowing how or when that shoe could drop is playing with fire. It would behoove the team to recognize that they are one unfortunate injury away from being up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
Which is exactly where they were right before this move happened.
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