Is left guard really secure? I feel like Ron Leary was our last good left guard that could pass protect and clear lanes for Zeke. Am I being too critical of Connor Williams' play? — DOUGLAS GRETHER / ALLEN, TX
David: I think the short answer to that question is yes, probably. Like I said yesterday, I don't think Connor Williams is an All-Pro. But it was impressive the way he fought back from an ACL tear to be the only reliable member of this offensive line last season. I don't know what the future holds for him, given that this is the last year of his contract. But if he's healthy, I think he's your starting left guard in 2021.
Nick: Hard to argue about the guy that played every snap last year – and he did that coming off an ACL injury the season before. Any athletic trainer and rehab specialist will tell you that all players seemingly have better seasons in the second year after the injury. So that being said, I would imagine Williams should be fine, plus it's a contract year for him and I think he'll be solid there on the left side. If you're gonna worry about a spot, I would tend to do that about the center position, there's really no experience there. But something tells me that Williams will have a pretty good year – and if he can have Tyron Smith by his left side, it'll be even better.
I'm pumped for the season, but considering the out of pocket game Dak plays I feel that the need for a veteran backup QB is warranted. Last time I checked, Alex Smith is still available. Any chance you see the Cowboys upgrading the position (backup QB) before the start of camp? — DARIN POAGE / SAN DIEGO, CA
David: Alex Smith was at the top of my wish list for quarterback depth back during the spring, but he ultimately decided to retire. As we've said many times before, I don't think they're going to address the issue before camp. There just aren't a lot of options out there. But as we work through training camp and the preseason, who knows what will play out on other rosters. Maybe by the time the league starts making its cuts, some alternative options will become available.
Nick: Before camp? No, I don't see that since we're only a week or so out. Before the season? Perhaps but before that, you can bet the backups will get plenty of work in the preseason. As for Dak, it's just a domino-effect that will keep him out of action for most of the exhibition games. Not only should the Cowboys be overly cautious with his own health, but if the O-line will be held out as well, then you can bet Dak should be right beside them. I'm curious to see what Garrett Gilbert can do. My gut says he'll be fine and will be the backup. But there will be names you've heard of that get on the waiver wire. The closer it gets to the season, the harder it'll be for someone to come right in and learn the system. So it's Gilbert right now.