The Dallas Cowboys have invested a lot of draft capital in their offensive line over the last several years. Just last season, they spent a second-round pick on Guard Connor Williams. It’s left them with the luxury of not having to worry about their guard or center positions in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Dallas is already getting a major talent infusion this season thanks to the return of Center Travis Frederick, who missed all of last year battling a neurological disease. They are also excited about second-year development from Williams, who should be both physically and mentally improved from his rookie season.
With them will be the bedrock of the offensive line, Zack Martin, who is arguably the best player on the entire Cowboys roster. Barring another unexpected health issue or a surprising lack of progress from Connor, Dallas should have one of the top interior offensive lines in football next season.
Last season also allowed the Cowboys to realize just how solid their depth was, too. While nobody was happy about missing Frederick, Joe Looney was more than adequate as the starting center in 2018. He returns this year as a valuable reserve at both center and guard.
When Connor Williams suffered a mid-season knee injury, backup Xavier Su’a-Filo was given a chance to start a few games. He was superior as a run blocker and helped spark improvement in Ezekiel Elliott’s production, though it also coincided with Amari Cooper’s arrival in Dallas.
Either way, Xavier proved he was capable backup and worth bringing back this season.
Because of still having Looney and Su’a-Filo, the Cowboys don’t need to worry much about their interior offensive linemen in the 2019 Draft. They even have Adam Redmond under contract next year; a good insurance policy who probably won’t make the roster if everyone stays healthy.
With much greater needs at other positions, the Cowboys are unlikely to draft any guard or center prospects this year. If they want any offensive linemen then they have more need at tackle, where La’el Collins is about to become a free agent next season.
The only scenario where drafting interior linemen makes sense for the Cowboys is if they can turn Looney or Su’a-Filo’s 2018 play into a trade commodity.
A team looking for a starting center or guard isn’t going to find one beyond the first few rounds of the draft. That team be willing to part with a fourth or fifth-round pick in exchange for an experienced player.
Dallas could use additional picks if they want to trade up this year. Waiting for the 58th pick is going to tough, and some additional draft capital would be nice for making a big move if the situation presents itself.
However, barring some kind of trade that sends one of the current reserves out the door, the Dallas Cowboys are loaded at guard and center. It’s a position they can afford to ignore in 2019, focusing on greater draft needs.
Draft Likelihood: 10%
Projected Round: 7th
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