It’s still way too early to know whether or not the Dallas Cowboys decision to part ways with Dez Bryant was the right one, but one thing is for sure, the offense is definitely going to look different in 2018. I’m not just talking about not having #88 in the lineup any longer or who is expected to replace him. I’m looking at the bigger picture here.
Now that Dez Bryant is no longer a member of the Dallas Cowboys, the need to draft one of the top wide receivers in this year’s draft class has significantly become more apparent. In fact, it may just jump to the top the list.
Before Bryant’s release, I thought the Dallas Cowboys biggest needs in the 2018 NFL Draft was finding a starting caliber left guard, followed by linebacker, and then wide receiver. Now, I think finding a new left guard takes a backseat unfortunately.
A lot of Cowboys Nation have been salivating over the idea of the Dallas Cowboys drafting either Isaiah Wynn, James Daniels, or Will Hernandez for months now. I know I’m certainly guilty. I’d actually fallen in love with the idea of seeing one of these prospects making the Cowboys offensive line dominant once again.
Unfortunately, I just don’t see the Dallas Cowboys taking another offensive lineman with one of their first two draft picks any longer. Finding a starting caliber linebacker and wide receiver have likely jumped the top of the list.
Hopefully, this has been the Cowboys plan all along because they believe they already have their starting left guard on the roster. No, I’m not talking about Joe Looney or Marcus Martin, who they signed in free agency, I’m talking about La’el Collins.
I know La’el Collins has recently said he would prefer to stay at right tackle, but he may be asked to move back inside out of necessity. It’s a position he’s already played for the Cowboys, and looked pretty good there. Of course, it was a somewhat small sample size.
It’s all about putting together the best offensive line possible and Collins’ move back to left guard could do just that. Cameron Fleming would take over for Collins at right tackle and Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin would man their usual positions.
Ideally, the Dallas Cowboys would probably prefer to draft a new left guard so that they don’t have to reshuffle their offensive line. But, finding a prospect who is capable of stepping in immediately after the first two rounds is going to be difficult.
The departure of Dez Bryant could end up having an impact on La’el Collins more than any other Dallas Cowboys player in 2018. It’s probably not going to be the biggest ripple effect #88 has on the Dallas Cowboys, but it does look like it changes their draft strategy and potentially their offensive line.