13) Which Position Still Needs To Be Addressed?


(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2022 season. Today, the staff writers discuss the current state of the roster before training camp.)

13) Which Position Still Needs To Be Addressed?

Nick Eatman: This one seems like it's a given, but I'll take it anyway. But there's no way this offensive line is set, right? I can't really put my finger on exactly what's going to happen. But the backup tackles don't seem ready right now. There are concerns up and down the line with everyone other than Zack Martin. It just seems like another veteran, even a backup with starting history somewhere else, would make sense for this unit. There are just too many question marks, starting with Tyron's health, to the development of both Tyler Smith and Tyler Biadasz and if Terence Steele is truly ready to take over at right tackle. I can't imagine nothing happens here at the offensive line before now and the start of the season.

Kyle Youmans: There's a severe lack of depth at the linebacker spot. With the injury history surrounding the position, I'm a bit surprised they haven't already added to the depth chart. Especially when some of the current contributors like Leighton Vander Esch and Jabril Cox have had injury trouble in the past. I still have that expectation that they'll add a veteran to the group, but who knows when that would happen.

Rob Phillips: This time last year, linebacker was arguably the team's deepest position. (Think about it: Jaylon Smith, a previous five-year starter, got released by October because he didn't find enough snaps in the rotation.) This year they're not as deep, even if you count Jayron Kearse as a safety/linebacker in the "big nickel" package they used quite a bit last season. Leighton Vander Esch's return on a one-year deal is big. Jabril Cox has a real chance to earn extensive playing time in his return from ACL surgery. But there's this to consider: The linebacker room would get even thinner if Micah Parsons moved to more of a full-time edge rusher role out of necessity, as he did last year at times while DeMarcus Lawrence was injured. Maybe Luke Gifford can step into a larger role if needed, and maybe rookie Markquese Bell can earn a spot in a role like Kearse's, giving Dan Quinn even more flexibility as another versatile safety who can cover and play in the box. But it also wouldn't surprise me if the Cowboys signed a veteran for depth at some point.

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