There remain a handful of questions associated with the Dallas Cowboys a few weeks following the 2023 NFL Draft and the majority of them have to do with one specific area. Who is going to start at left guard? Who is the swing tackle? Are they serious about playing Terence Steele and/or Josh Ball at left guard? What are they going to do with Tyron Smith? What happens if/when Tyron gets hurt? Does Tyler Smith kick out to left guard? Who is the left guard then?
The state of the offensive line is a bit of a curious one as you can see.
It is in moments like these that we long for the days of 2015 and 2016 when life was simple for the Cowboys up front. We knew who each and every starter was along the offensive line and could depend on them to be there on a weekly basis.
NFL.com’s projected starters gives us an idea of what the Cowboys starters look like, including the offensive line
If you follow the Cowboys closely then you are probably able to list off who their 22 starters (no offense, special teams) would be at a moment’s notice. Beyond things being obvious. the Cowboys are fortunate that they are returning a lot of players from last season.
Nevertheless, the folks over at NFL.com do a projected starters exercise and on Monday unveiled it to the world. Here is who they have penciled in for the Cowboys.
As you can see the presumption here is that Tyron Smith will start at left tackle which would leave Tyler Smith at left guard. Terence Steele is also holding pat at right tackle where he has played through the significant majority of his career.
It is really difficult to discern exactly what direction the Cowboys are going to ultimately wind up going in here. Changing anything along the left side of the line is not just a one-move thing. If Tyron is out then the next-best option at tackle is Tyler and sliding him out obviously creates a hole at left guard. The only stable things are Tyler Biadasz at center and Zack Martin at right tackle.
This is the case because even Terence Steele’s absence (we are still crossing our fingers that he will return from injury sooner rather than later) also creates an issue. As there is no obvious swing tackle in the normal definition of that role, could the Cowboys slide Tyron to the right side like they did over the end of last season? And if they did what do they do after left guard with Tyler filling in along the left side?
None of those questions will likely be answered in any serious way until training camp begins and we see who the Cowboys are repeatedly trotting out there; however, it appears clear that the idea of Tyron at left tackle and Tyler at left guard with Terence at right tackle is the most-agreed upon way that the Cowboys should approach things.