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Mailbag: Worry About Guard By Committee?


There were several players working out at left guard during the OTA and minicamp practices, but do you think once training camp starts, they'll lock in on one guy? I get there's some need for flexibility, but with communication on the offensive line being so important, do they need to get one guy in there and let him go? I worry a committee approach at left guard this season could short-circuit the Cowboys offense. – Gary Bankman/Charlotte, NC

Nick Eatman:If they were convinced there was just "one guy" at left guard, that's probably what they would've done all offseason, at least with the first-team unit. But you're right, this is the time of year to try new things. Obviously, they don't really want Tyler Smith to play left guard because he seems like the future at left tackle. But personally, I've said this all along, I would play him at left guard and let Steele, Tyron Smith and even Waletzko play tackle. Tyler Smith is smart enough to handle the back and forth moves, something we saw plenty of last year. Tyler also provides the strength in the middle of the line that this team desperately needs. I think they'll start to find more continuity on the line at training camp and as we get closer to the season. A lot of this depends on the health of both Tyron and Steele. But if they're good to go, Tyler Smith at left guard makes the most sense to me. 

Patrik: I'm a firm believer that this is "experiment season" for the Cowboys, and especially in a situation wherein Terence Steele isn't ready to take reps yet. That lets them try a bunch of different OL combinations to see who can do what and where, but there is no scenario in which I believe they'll enter the regular season with an LG-by-committee approach, at least not if they want Dak Prescott to stay on the field the entire season (and they do). I'm on the hill that says they'll ultimately play Tyron Smith at left tackle and put Tyler Smith at left guard with Terence Steele going back to his best position: right tackle. The true battle, in my opinion, is to see who'll be the backup guard (Asim Richards? Chuma Edoga? Matt Farniok?) and who'll be swing tackle (Matt Waletkko?). All in all, just let if flesh itself out, and it most definitely will once the team starts going full speed in Oxnard.

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