Two key skill positions are under pressure heading into training camp that starts next week, offensive line and defensive line. Both of them are extremely important for the Cowboys' success.
We have heard questions and concerns about both throughout the offseason. Looking in depth at them, which of the two has the greatest need to figure out key issues heading into next season?
Let's take the entirety of both groups as they are now, as a whole, healthy. The Cowboys still have two of the best offensive lineman in football, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith.
I feel like the Cowboys need a big year from Tyler Biadasz. He did start every single game last year, so that's not a problem. The penalties might be one of the issues he runs into next season, but I expect a good year for him.
Tyler Smith, who Dallas selected in the draft might find himself playing a few spots in his rookie season. From reports, it seems like Dallas might ask him to play several roles within the OL. If we have seen one thing the Cowboys do well throughout the NFL draft, that is drafting solid offensive linemen. Let's hope Smith turns out to be another great one.
Now for the entire defensive line, both DE and DT. They have several moving parts, and I will get right to it. I hope they find a solution to help slow down the run.
We know Micah Parsons is going to be everywhere. The Cowboys get DeMarcus Lawrence back healthy, and they resigned Dorance Armstrong, who had five sacks a season ago in a backup role. I think he is one of the most underrated players on the Cowboys roster.
I still have many questions about the defensive tackles. Stopping the run isn't all on them, but as you look at the overall numbers, the Cowboys could use more production from them.
Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, and Carlos Watkins are likely the featured group at the top of the depth chart. During camp, we could see a guy like John Ridgeway make a name for himself and earn some snaps.
At least for me, when you compare the two as a whole, I think the DL has multiple guys that can still earn snaps and play a part on the team. So training camp might benefit them a bit more. The offensive line may lean on health as normal, but on the other side of the ball, they still have multiple players that can make some noise starting next week in training camp.
Dan Quinn has shown he can improve a historically bad 2020 defense just a season ago, so fill gaps with all his moving parts and with the entire off-season, I think it becomes a point of emphasis, and he would be the one I trust to do it.
There is plenty I did not even mention because it is all a guessing game until we see how things shape out. I will follow the defensive line a bit closer than the other side of the ball rolling into training camp.