It’s never an ideal situation for an offensive line to be without starters at tackle, but that’s the situation the Dallas Cowboys have found themselves in each week to start the 2020 season. For each of the last two weeks, they’ve been without Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, and while it’s looking promising that Smith may return in week four as the Cowboys face the Cleveland Browns, Collins’ timeline appears more uncertain. The good news for the Dallas Cowboys, however, is that they’ve found a player that can step in and provide good performances when called into action in Brandon Knight.
Brandon Knight was an undrafted free agent rookie signing from the 2019 group. When he’s been called into action in his first two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, he’s been more than adequate. This season Knight’s been pretty good for the Cowboys playing the left tackle spot in Tyron Smith’s absence.
Through two games, Pro Football Focus has credited Knight with one sack allowed and three total pressures. Terrance Steele, by comparison, has been credited with seven pressures in the last two games. For his efforts in Seattle, Knight received a pass-blocking grade of 81 from Pro Football Focus, the highest grade among the Cowboys offensive lineman.
While the pass rushes of the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks aren’t great, Brandon Knight has proven over this season to be up to the challenge of being a weekly starter in the NFL. That’s good news, as it came down, the Cowboys don’t have a good idea as to when starting right tackle La’el Collins will be back in the lineup.
If Tyron Smith can return this week, it could mean a switch to right tackle for Brandon Knight to replace Terrance Steele. Hopefully, Smith can practice some, providing opportunities for Knight to work from the right side and adjust his stance and pass and run sets from playing on the left side.
Having a player like Brandon Knight, who provides you stability and reliability, has been huge for the Dallas Cowboys as they’ve dealt with injuries early in the 2020 season. Sitting at 1-2 and with no return in sight for La’el Collins, Knight will continue to get an extended run in the offense for the Cowboys. Unlike in years past, the Cowboys are getting quality play from their backup tackle, and if he has to continue to play, it’s less of a concern.