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Mailbag: Tyler Smith Or Steele Now At Guard?


Following the draft, it looks as though the Cowboys are going with Tyler Smith or Terence Steele at guard, so they must be relying on Tyron Smith being available for the majority of the season. Do you think that's a mistake? – Stu Anderson/United Kingdom

Nick: I think Mike McCarthy was pretty clear last month when we said the Cowboys are done relying on the offensive line to be healthy. Sure, they want everyone to be available and to push each other for snaps, but the reality is, that hasn't been the case so far in the last three years. So that's why the Cowboys are just loading up with options. At the end of the day, they will make a tough decision if it indeed is a tough one to make. If Steele comes back strong and Tyron Smith is healthy, then yes, slide Tyler inside to left guard again. I think he's smart enough to go back and forth without it hurting his long-term development. Something tells me Matt Waletzko is going to be a factor as well.

Kurt: We've heard a lot recently about position flexibility along the offensive line and the Cowboys seem to be embracing that philosophy in part because of the annual uncertainty with Tyron Smith. If he's healthy, he's in the lineup, meaning Tyler Smith or Steele (if he's fully recovered from his ACL injury) will likely have to move inside to left guard. But when the seemingly inevitable comes and Tyron is sidelined, then one of those two will have to kick back outside, leaving a gaping hole in the middle. With all of that in mind, Josh Ball, a 2021 fourth-round pick, is working out at guard, the team signed Chuma Edoga in free agency and Dallas also drafted Asim Richards in the fifth round this year. All three of those candidates have primarily plied their trade as tackles, but here again, the hope is position flexibility. So I wouldn't say a mistake has been made yet (unless you feel a guard should have been taken higher in the draft) because the Cowboys are putting contingencies in place in the event Tyron goes out. If nothing else, right now they at least have some options.

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