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Identifying The Cowboys' Left Guard Options


FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' offensive line should have a slightly different look Sunday night in a critical division matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rookie left guard Connor Williams is expected to sit out the primetime matchup after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery this week. How will the Cowboys proceed against one of the NFL's most talented defensive fronts? By creating competition this week.

"All options are available to us," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We like all of our interior guys. We'll just practice this week and see how it goes."

Let's take a look at the most logical options at left guard, knowing some are probably more likely than others:

Xavier Su'a-Filo: The easiest solution would be to substitute Williams for one of the backup guards. Su'a-Filo has the most NFL playing experience of any Cowboys guard not named Zack Martin.

Signed by Dallas in Week 2, Su'a-Filo is a former second-round pick with 41 career starts in Houston, included every game for the Texans the past two seasons. He has been inactive for all seven games with the Cowboys so far.

Adam Redmond: Claimed off waivers from Buffalo after final cuts, Redmond is also the Cowboys' primary backup center at the moment. That's where he primarily played with the Bills and Colts from 2016-17.

Redmond has been active in seven of eight games, and he got six snaps at right guard for Martin late in the Oct. 14 win over Jacksonville when the Cowboys were comfortably ahead.

"He's a young player who has done some good things, but he's still in developmental mode," Garrett said. "He has come in very serious-minded and picked things up quickly and has shown us that he can be one of the seven active linemen on game day. That's been a good thing for us."

Joe Looney: Looney has started all eight games at center for Travis Frederick (Guillain-Barre syndrome), but he's been a backup guard for Dallas in the past, too.

Moving Looney there would make Redmond the logical next option at center, but that would also mean changing out two of the five starting spots. And Looney has done a solid job all season of handling Frederick's responsibility of pre-snap communication along the line.

La'el Collins: Seemingly the most unlikely option. Garrett has indicated that the club is inclined to keep Collins right where he is at right tackle, his starting spot since 2017. But Collins did play left guard his first two seasons in Dallas and has the strength and mentality to handle interior rushes. Cameron Fleming would be the next man up at right tackle in that type of scenario. The fifth-year veteran has started big games in the past, including last year's Super Bowl at right tackle for the Patriots.