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Mailbag: O-Line Moving Backwards? Swing Tackle? 


If the Cowboys are unable to sign a couple more offensive linemen in free agency, how big a step back has the line taken? — JEFF PARSONS / AMARILLO, TX

Nick: It's a huge step back ... if you have to play games in April. Fortunately, the schedule probably won't even come out until May and like always, the season will start in September. My point is that although everyone loves to make statements on how things are going to be, we still don't know yet. What happens in the draft? How does Connor McGovern and Tyler Biadasz develop? And although you asked the question, I can promise you they will sign a veteran guard or center here in the next few weeks.

Rob: I guess you've got to tell me what the draft holds, too, because Jerry Jones just told us that O-Line will be a focus. I agree they've got a couple obvious question marks at left guard and swing tackle, and typically they prefer to cover themselves in free agency. So I expect they'll still make a signing or two, even if they aren't sure-fire starters. Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are still pretty strong foundational players up front, even though Smith has had injuries, and they're counting on Terence Steele to take a step forward at right tackle. We'll see if they add center competition, too.

Do the Cowboys have any interest in bringing Ty Nsekhe back? Is he satisfactory as a swing tackle? — KENT HOEFFNER / WOODWAY, TX

Nick: I don't it would be a fallback plan. But free agency started more than two weeks ago. If they wanted him to be that option, he would've signed. My understanding is that they're looking to move forward and younger at the swing tackle position. With Tyron Smith's health issues, the swing tackle better be someone they trust to start 4-5 games this year.

Rob: I think that's a possibility, yes. Remember, they thought Josh Ball could compete for that job as a fourth-round pick a year ago before he got injured. Their strategy at swing tackle will depend in part on what they think of his progress. But typically they like to sign a veteran there heading into training camp and see how things shake out.

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