Since being drafted in 2011, Tyron Smith has been a staple of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.
A two time First Team All Pro as well as an 8 time Pro Bowler, Smith has been one of the best left tackles in football pretty much since entering the league. He was also the first of the Cowboys offensive line renaissance, with first round selections of Travis Frederick and Zack Martin following his in 2011.
But the great Tyron Smith has unfortunately failed to play a full 16 games since 2015, and missed all but two games last season. When available Smith is still a top tier tackle, but you have to expect he’ll miss at least two to three games going forward even in a relatively healthy season.
Leaving us with the question, do the Cowboys need to find left tackle help this offseason?
Our Jess Haynie referenced the possibility of actually cutting Smith this week, though I am not in agreement with that potential move. Still it’s becoming evident that offensive line may once again be an area of need for the Cowboys, especially after the putrid injury luck they suffered upfront in 2020.
Behind Smith this season was Terence Steele, who struggled mightily at times during the season. Steele has some of the measurables you look for in a tackle, but his technique was not up to par in 2020. Brandon Knight saw action as well at both left and right tackle, but considering that both Smith and La’el Collins were out for the year, the Cowboys offense was put in a tough situation.
Neither Steele nor Knight look like the longterm answer at left tackle, meaning they may need to look at taking one during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Is drafting a player who, if all goes well health wise, will be a swing tackle his rookie season worth a first round pick? I’d say absolutely not.
The most likely scenario is that the Cowboys look for a mid round target at tackle to potentially backup both Smith and Collins, while also evaluating cheap free agents, like they did with Cameron Erving in 2020.
Either way, the offensive line is quickly becoming a position of need for the Dallas Cowboys.