How has Connor McGovern looked in practice and the preseason games? I understand that Tyler Smith is our future lineman and needs reps, but this is a team with Super Bowl hopes, and we need the best five available linemen on the field protecting Dak. If McGovern is doing well, why not give Tyler Smith a chance to win the swing tackle job? — CANDY REAGAN / ABILENE, TX
Patrik: McGovern has been a mixed bag this summer — at times showing great ability that could indicate a chance of being a definitive starter but, at other times, having been pushed around a bit. And when you spend a first-round pick on an offensive lineman, the plan must be unleashing him as soon as is possible unless the incumbent is dominating (in which case you wouldn't have needed to use a first-round pick on a potential replacement). For my money, Smith has already shown he's much too promising on the interior (better than McGovern) to push him to the bench as insurance for swing tackle, especially when you could just sign a veteran in that role.
Kyle: McGovern hasn't done anything to lose his guard spot yet, which should speak volumes. Tyler Smith is absolutely the future, as a first-round pick should be. But the fact McGovern has not relinquished his job yet is impressive. He's allowed just two hurries in 66 total snaps this preseason, both against the Chargers. Smith has only been charged with one QB hit in the same number of snaps. So, while McGovern has played well enough to stay in the conversation, he hasn't necessarily done anything over the top to win the job outright to this point. All are a good sign for this offense because the battle for a starting position is truly going to be who earned it, not who loses it.