The Cowboys week four loss to Cleveland brought with it a slew of negatives to react to. Whether you focus on the atrocious run defense, the killer turnovers, or the failed comeback attempt the Cowboys fell short in many ways last Sunday.
There was one glaring positive from the performance, though. Despite a rocky start, Dallas has finally locked down their offensive tackle situation. And each of the “new” starters played well against an extremely talented Browns’ front.
On the left side, All Pro tackle Tyron Smith returned from injury and was as advertised once again. Having to face the likes of Olivier Vernon and Myles Garrett didn’t stop Smith from being successful, as he looked smooth and comfortable in his pass sets all day. As usual Smith kept Prescott’s left side clean using his power and athleticism, and remained powerful in the run game as well.
John Owning put together an excellent cut up of Smith’s dominance from last Sunday.
It was a disappointing performance for the #Cowboys as a whole, but Tyron Smith individually performed exceedingly well coming off a neck injury. In case anyone forgot, Tyron Smith is still one of the league’s best OTs, and he proved it versus CLE. pic.twitter.com/hHCpBFLmh9
On the right side it was a much different story.
Terence Steele got the start there and struggled mightily, allowing Myles Garrett to get to Prescott twice in the first half including a sack fumble that changed the game. Steele apparently had a short leash, as the coaches went to Brandon Knight in relief rather quickly. Once Knight got in there, he showed why he should’ve been the starter on the right side from the beginning.
Knight doesn’t totally look the part of a starting tackle, especially compared to Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. Athletically he isn’t up to par with those guys, but his technique is sound and he’s gotten the job done when needed the past few weeks.
Brandon Knight needs to be the starting right tackle for the remainder of the season, barring another Tyron Smith injury setback. He is their best swing tackle by far right now, though I do think Steele could be something in the future.
With Smith and Knight on the edges, the Cowboys may finally have found their starting duo for this 2020 campaign. Plus, Knight’s experience this season will only make him a strong backup behind Smith and Collins next year.