There was a lot that went wrong with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. While the loss of Dak Prescott was the biggest issue, losing your starting tackles — one before the season even started — was a major reason for the disappointing 6-10 season. However, things have been looking more promising for 2021 as Tyron Smith and La’el Collins were back at practice for the first day of Dallas Cowboys OTAs.
La’el Collins missed all of 2020 with hip issues. That left the Cowboys with Terence Steele to play right tackle. Though it was a slow start and Steele improved (marginally) throughout the course of the season, getting Collins back into the starting lineup along the offensive line will be a huge boost for Kellen Moore, Dak Prescott, and the offense.
Tyron Smith struggled through injuries yet again. Coming into the 2020 season, Smith had missed three games in each of the previous four seasons. In 2020, he couldn’t even play in three games. What has been a troubling trend for Tyron Smith continued last year as he struggled with neck and back issues that shut him down for the season.
All reports this offseason have pointed to the Cowboys two starting offensive tackles being ready and healthy when the Cowboys kick off the 2021 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but getting them back on the practice field along with Dak Prescott is a huge boon for the Cowboys offense.
Dak Prescott was able to continue to make magic happen without his starting offensive tackles. But once Prescott was lost for the season in week five, the magic faded and the backup quarterback trio of Andy Dalton, Garrett Gilbert, and Ben DiNucci couldn’t make the offense work consistently with the players the Cowboys were rolling out at offensive tackle.
Much of the success the Dallas Cowboys have enjoyed over the last decade has been because their offensive line has been a strength of the team. The hope is with Smith and Collins coming back healthy that the team will be ready to reassert its dominance through the air and on the ground. And if they stay healthy this offseason and through training camp, there’s no reason to think the Cowboys won’t have one of the best offensive lines in football in 2021.