Collectively, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Doug Free make up the dominant offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys – the pride and soul of this football team. When Jason Garrett and the Cowboys committed to building this unit, they did so with a run of first round picks that has established Dallas’ identity for years to come.
However, the Cowboys are going to have to be smart about the way they go about building the sustainability of this offensive line. While most of the guys mentioned above are set in stone, the backups currently on the roster will all be fighting for their spots come training camp.
One such player is Chaz Green, who was drafted in the third round by the Cowboys in 2015.
While third round picks are typically on the bubble to become starters, the Cowboys’ recent draft history has (surprisingly) shown that Will McClay & Co. can find valuable players in the third round and beyond. The team is certainly hoping that the oft-injured Green can be one of these guys, as there was some rumors about Chaz Green being pushed to beat out Doug Free and start at right tackle in 2016.
While that notion died down after Green progressed through OTAs and mini-camp with some minor injury setbacks, the expectation for him to replace a veteran and core member of the best offensive line in football was likely unrealistic to begin with. Instead, Chaz Green can show his worth by competing with and beating out the likes of Charles Brown – who was signed last season as a swing tackle.
Brown will turn 30 when the Cowboys’ opener against the New York Giants rolls around, so transitioning to the younger second-year player in Green would be greatly beneficial to the team. Youth and versatility are two things Garrett values, and are both things that a healthy Chaz Green can provide.
Chaz Green will likely begin and end 2016 with a lot of questions left unanswered. While Cowboys Nation would love to assume that this team can draft offensive linemen in the third round with the same success they have doing so in the first round, the truth is that there will be a significant talent drop-off between these players.
Fortunately, Chaz Green is not going to have to be Zack Martin or Doug Free, but rather a solid developmental piece for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 and beyond.
What are you hoping to see from Chaz Green in 2016?
Let us know! Comment below to start the conversation, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Cowboys Sophomores is an ongoing series here at Inside The Star. To read previous profiles on second-year players and their roles with the 2016 Dallas Cowboys, click here to browse the archives.