The Cowboys have plenty to do if they want to improve their roster this off-season, but one group that will be okay as the team rolls in the 2023 is the offensive line.
This group looks solid on paper, yet I understand why fans still think improvement is needed. They will still have several questions to answer before the 2023 season begins. Still, they will return at least four of their five starters from a year ago.
We know Zack Martin, Tyler Smith, and Tyler Biadasz will return, and Terence Steele should return to form from his tore ACL in December. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
Steele is a restricted free agent, though, which means the Cowboys can match the highest offer that another team throws his way, but if they can't come to terms with him on a long-term deal, they could apply a first-round tender on him, let him walk and take the pick.
That said, four of the five starters will return in 2023. Connor McGovern might leave in free agency, and I would pass on bringing him back anyway, and doing so would leave them looking for a starting left guard.
Another question people will continue to wonder about is if the Cowboys will cut Tyron Smith. Doing so would free up close to $14 million if he is a post-June 1st cut. This would be a bright idea to help get the team from beneath the cap.
If he returns, the Cowboys could do exactly what we thought would happen entering last season. Put Tyron Smith at left tackle and have Tyler Smith at left guard. That is, until Tyron gets hurt again. The future Hall of Famer can't stay healthy. Stephen Jones said Tuesday that he expects to have Tyron back next year.
Cowboys have three starting-caliber options at offensive tackle between Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith and Terence Steele. EVP Stephen Jones expects Tyron back. “The biggest takeaway from our meetings was you can't have enough of these guys.” Did not rule out a contract reworking.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) February 28, 2023
Sure, it would be a good idea for the Cowboys to add some depth on the offensive line via the draft this year, but this isn't a group the team needs to spend another high draft pick on.
They need much more help next to CeeDee Lamb on the outside and Trevon Diggs at corner. I would even look at linebackers before I worried about the offensive line.
This group needs to be great in 2023, not just good. They will have the right pieces in place to do so. Whether they can stay on the field together becomes a different matter. The last thing we want to see is the team in a situation like last year. He doesn't want to have to call a 40-year-old vet like Jason Peters to help them out.
Another thing to note is that the Cowboys have a new offensive line coach in Mike Solari. He was an assistant offensive line coach under Mike McCarthy in Green Bay in 2015, and he spent the 1987-88 seasons in Dallas working under Tom Landry.
McCarthy is building this staff with guys that have brought him success before. This season is all on him.
The Cowboys are in a fine place with their offensive line, and I am much more concerned about wide receiver and corner. I expect them to add some depth in the draft outside the first two rounds.
Matt Waletzko, Josh Ball, and Isaac Alarcon are also on the roster, but only Ball has seen game action and didn't look good in his time.