Last season saw a lot of shuffling on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys due to injuries. The big one was the loss of LT Tyron Smith in training camp. He would return later in the season, but RT Terence Steele would go on IR at about the same time. Tyler Smith, who was drafted to be the LG, had to switch to LT, and Tryon would wind up switching from LT to RT. The team really wants to avoid that turmoil in 2023, because continuity is important on the O line. That will depend on health. They also seek to put their best five lineman on the field together.
There are reports that the team is planning to do some experimentation to achieve that last goal.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on cross training RT Terence Steele at guard: :I mean we’re talking about it. Yeah, we’re talking about it. We haven’t got in there with those guys yet. Offseason program starts in April, but yeah we’ll definitely … we’re looking at all those things." https://t.co/Yt6uwJ913v— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 28, 2023
While this is an interesting idea, it is just that, an idea. Jerry Jones on Monday said that he sees Steele being most valuable as a backup to the two Smiths.
Jerry Jones says at the NFL owners meetings that he sees Terence Steele still as a tackle and providing OT depth with Tyron and Tyler Smith. As for left guard, the draft is probably the best spot to address that need but Jones didn’t rule out using someone “from within.”— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) March 27, 2023
At this time, these are just ideas for the coaches to consider. Jones is a step removed from that, but he clearly has a lot of influence in his dual role as owner and GM. Additionally, he often is simply restating things he has gotten from the coaching staff.
With the need to have multiple backup plans, as we saw in 2022, all ideas have to at least be considered. This does open up the possibility of the team going with an offensive line, from left to right, of Tyler Smith-Terence Steele-Tyler Biadasz-Zack Martin-Tyron Smith.
Previously, there was a lot of speculation that the likely starting lineup would be Tyron Smith-Tyler Smith-Biadasz-Martin-Steele. Both lineups would accomplish the goal of getting their best five on the field. Any shuffling and experimentation would be to determine which alignment works best. Further, as Jones said, they might draft a rookie they think can take over at LG and keep Steele as the swing tackle. With Tyron’s injury history, that should not be discounted.
We are not going to get any clarity on this for months, but we will keep you updated.