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Cowboys Must Make Offensive Line Depth a Priority

The Cowboys' 9-7 finish in 2017 exposed some clear weaknesses on their roster. One of the major problem areas was the depth of the , which should make it a top priority in the 2018 .

Of course, any mention of offensive line woes makes you think of getting obliterated by and the . Clayborn, who only had 9.5 total for the year, picked up six of them in that game as Green tried to play left for the injured . But the issue extends beyond Chaz.

was an improvement — but still a liability — when he took over as the swing tackle. Further, the Cowboys currently have no proven backups at or with 's contract now expired.

Now that Smith, , and are all veterans, Dallas has to start thinking about the wear and tear they take, and having better reserve options in place. The luxury of guys like and on the bench is over; they're now starters after and departed last season.

Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith On IR Before Week 17
OT Tyron Smith

Even though all of the starters are in their prime years, can happen at anytime. All it takes is that one play when your legs get caught under you; “pop” goes the ACL, and your season is over.

The Cowboys rely too heavily on their offensive line to play loose with the . Going thin last year just might have cost them a game or two when Smith and Collins had to miss time, and Dallas can't take that same chance in 2018 with a return to the as their goal.

Thankfully, picking up quality depth isn't a major expense. Solid veteran reserves can be had for a couple million dollars, maybe even less.

If they elect to use the draft to restock, a capable swing tackle may be found in the second or . A solid guard or center option could even be found in the middle rounds.

There will be plenty of spots to fill. Outside of the returning starters, Dallas only has Chaz Green and prospects and Jarron Jones under contract. Like Joe Looney, Byron Bell is also a this offseason.

As much as we're focused on more glamorous positions right now for offseason needs, the offensive line depth should not take a backseat. All the receiver talent in the world doesn't matter if is getting killed like he was that day in Atlanta.

The time for experiments and second chances (sorry Chaz) is over.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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