FRISCO, Texas. —It's possible the Cowboys will see veteran offensive lineman Jason Peters suit up for them fairly soon, but there's more evaluation to be done this week as the nine-time Pro Bowler continues to ramp up for his debut in Dallas, although the first time he takes the field will likely be to protect Cooper Rush and not a recovering Dak Prescott.
On Monday, head coach Mike McCarthy put a pin in questions about Peters' potential availability versus the incoming Bengals, and owner and general manager Jerry Jones not only mirrored that sentiment but also threw a bit of a curveball into the equation as well.
In speaking with 105.3 FM the Fan on Tuesday, Jones praised the NFL debut of rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith - rightfully so, considering Smith was one of the few positives to glean from the offensive side of the ball - but the injury to Connor McGovern (high ankle sprain) creates what might be a concern at left guard over the next couple of weeks.
"It depends on his evolving with his conditioning," said Jones. " …I'm glad we got him - no question we will be using him sooner than later."
The question is, however, where might that be?
Matt Farniok spelled McGovern and didn't play poorly, Jones deeming it as "good enough", which intimates Peters potentially being tried at left guard in the near future but, circling back to the aforementioned curveball, Jones also mentioned Peters' ability to play right tackle - in the same breath wherein he mentioned the rash of penalties (4) suffered by Terence Steele in the opening day loss.
"We'll have a spot for [Peters]," Jones added. "There's no question that we're going to be using him, maybe out there sooner rather than later. I don't want to be more specific, but he can play both tackles. So, there's all kinds of ways and all kinds of combinations - that's a problem when you're having to do all kinds of combinations in the offensive line.
"There's a compatibility in play in staying at one spot, no matter how good a player you are. It lends itself to a better offensive line but, still, I think we've done pretty good by having Peters come in there."
Jones went on to praise Steele for "earning" the job as starting right tackle over La'el Collins, the latter now a member of the very same Bengals who'll trot into town on Sunday, but the focus on eliminating penalties also led offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to be a bit more blunt than usual in his press conference on Monday. Moore stated any player who can't get their pre-snap penalties under control will be pulled for someone who can.
"McGovern shouldn't be long," said Jones. "He shouldn't be out long, and we had a good job done by Smith, young Smith, and we got help on the way."
All told, there might be some interesting developments on the Cowboys offensive line as soon as Peters is ready to roll.