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Mailbag: How's The O-Line Holding Up?


I keep reading about how great Dak did in the Falcons game with a beat-up line and two young starters, Brandon Knight and Terence Steele, and he did. But shouldn't a lot of that credit also go to them for handling what was thrown their way? With more experience, they'll only get better. — RICHARD FAIRBROTHER

David: Absolutely, those two guys deserve plenty of credit all their own. I've said many times over the last few weeks that this fanbase seems to be permanently scarred by what happened in Atlanta in 2017. But that game was not normal. That game wasn't just a bad day for Chaz Green, it was a failure to adjust by the previous coaching staff. Hopefully the continued success by guys like Brandon Knight and Terence Steele helps us all realize that backup players can be put in positions to succeed if the right plan is in place.

Rob: There was a decent amount of pressure on Dak in that game, even though he only got sacked once. But Knight was solid and Steele continued to battle, even though he had some penalties that impacted drives. We talked with Steele via conference call Thursday and he said he's been getting a lot of advice from veteran teammates on both sides of the ball, from Tyron Smith and La'el Collins to the defensive linemen. His approach to this situation has been excellent. I thought Zeke and the tight ends helped in the blocking department, too, and credit Kellen Moore for not abandoning the run in the second half. It's much easier on an offensive line when there's some balance and they're not having to pass protect down after down.

If the offensive line continues to have injuries at tackle, has it ever been discussed potentially sliding Zack Martin out to right tackle? I know, not ideal when you are talking about maybe the best guard in football, but reminds me a little of the year that Larry Allen moved to tackle and helped shore up a troubled area. — DEREK PAYNE / MUSTANG, OK

David: It has definitely been discussed by the coaching staff and the front office. The Cowboys know that Connor Williams and Zack Martin can play tackle if they have to, and Stephen Jones even said last week that "all options" were on the table. Fortunately, Knight and Steele seemed to hold up fairly well last week. I am all in favor of the option that involves shuffling the fewest players possible, so I'd stick with that for the time being. But if for some reason the young guys start to struggle, it's something I'd consider.

Rob: I have no doubt that Martin could play there and play well if needed, and if things got dicey enough, the club would consider it. But Mike McCarthy has said for continuity's sake he'd rather change out one spot on the line instead of two when there's an injury.

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