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Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the . Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, , is currently an unrestricted . So are backups and .

Right now, is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at . Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for , where we at least have options to turn to if or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys OT

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new . But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to , , and . Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a bargain. That means either re- Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, , counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the .

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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Shawn King

I agree. Sign Cooper on the cheap if possible. Perhaps a healthy Tyron and an additional year under his belt on the line will give us a stopgap. If not, perhaps a third round look for that pesky LG hole. Btw, your people need to proofread your articles better. 🙂

Jess Haynie

Last time I try to post one from my phone. 🙁

Thanks for reading!

prince

You’re a great sport! Haha

Billy Pinson

Why does no one ever mention the need for lb’s? What do we have left? Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, Damien Wilson? This to me is our biggest priority. Any thoughts?

Carlos

We need to pick at least 2 lb in The draft. Sean lee always get injuried and jaylon has knee issues

prince

I say one early one late and a cheap veteran.

Chuck Wright

Have zero problem re-signing Cooper. . .and hope they use a draft pick on an OG. . . now as things are shaping out, if someone like Denver, the Jets or the Giants don’t take a QB in round 1, I am hoping one of them wants to jump up to #19 for either Mason Rudolph (better QB than people think) or Lamar Jackson.

Dallas gets their high 2nd and 3rd, now Da Boys have 8 picks in the 1st 4 rounds, WR, 2 LBs, 1 Tech OG TE and S.

Serious influx of talent. . . .

Tony Farthing

Trade Smith and/Fred…
Draft and keep it moving.

Both underperformed and may never repeat best years…

However, the reputation they currently have as amongst “the best” (admitting, they’re not on a steep decline, yet) should yield max return and relax cap…

anticipating Dak and a few other key players will make bank soon…

mobile QB amd dynamic RB gives you wiggle room to transition, successfully.

waiting another season to cash in on Smith/Freday be a huge regret.

IJS

prince

Smith maybe Fred no way!

Russ_Te

Remember both Ronald Leary and Nate Newton were undrafted walk-ons. So you have a chance for a sleeper at OG, and some of these extra low picks this year may be going in that direction. I am as concerned with Tyron Smith’s durability as I am with LG, so if I can get a swing OL up the draft I’m doing it. Even bundling picks for it.

The Cowboys are apparently marshaling FA $ for 1 impact player. IMO it needs to be a swing OL or a very fast WR, then go high for the other at draft.

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