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Offseason | 2024

Solari on Guyton, Beebe changes; Bass in new role


FRISCO, Texas — In the span of only three days during the 2024 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys went from being in dire straits at two positions on their offensive line to tripling down on rebuilding the wall in front of quarterback Dak Prescott — selecting Tyler Guyton, Cooper Beebe and Nathan Thomas in the first, third and seventh round, respectively.

There is much work to be done, however, considering all three will be moved to new positions to begin their NFL career with the Cowboys, albeit ones they have at least some experience at playing.

Guyton, a former right tackle at Oklahoma, is being transitioned to left tackle.

"He's working hard, and he's doing a nice job in the transition," said offensive line coach Mike Solari, speaking after the team's first practice that mixed veterans with rookies. "It's a little bit different, but he's an athletic guy so there will be no problem for him making that adjustment. It's exciting to work him at the left tackle spot, because we believe that's where he can be his best."

Beebe, a former left tackle at Kansas State, is being assigned to center.

"He's working at center right now," said Solari. "He has the flexibility and versatility, but we want him to focus on the center position. … Great job by our draft department. You see his initial quickness and his ability to sustain the blocks, and the type of competitor he is.

"He's a smart football player and … he's another guy that has versatility, but we want him to lock into the center spot."

Thomas, a former left tackle at Louisiana, is being migrated to guard.

"He brings versatility," Solari said of Thomas. "That's his strength and it's what we really liked about him, but we're working him at guard. The key thing for a rookie is to lock him into one position, so he can learn the techniques and fundamentals to be successful."

The three newcomers aren't the only ones being tested in new roles in Dallas, either. You can throw T.J. Bass into that mix as well — an undrafted free agent in 2023 that signed with the Cowboys as a former two-time First-team All-Pac 12 talent out of Oregon.

Bass acquitted himself exceptionally well in his first season, especially when you factor in the variables that forced him onto center stage alongside Brock Hoffman (2022 UDFA).

The key phrase here is "center stage", because while it was expected that Hoffman would battle Beebe for snaps in the middle, Solari made it clear that Bass is also one to watch there.

"We're gonna work him at center," said Solari. "He wants to start, so he's gonna compete at the center and at the guard position. That versatility is so important to have — a second or even a third center going into games. With limitations on how many offensive linemen you can dress, it's a critical factor. It's really important, and he's been studying that position.

"But until the pads come on, and we get in that game-like environment — we're looking forward to that. But, right now, he's in position to learn the offense at center."

Bass has been active in trying to get added reps before and after practices last season, and it stands to reason he'll take the same approach going forward. This pits him directly against Hoffman, who is looking to challenge Beebe, and makes for a hearty battle to come in training camp at center.

Meanwhile, Guyton's goal is to be ready for LT1 duties come September 8, when he'll get a baptism by fire against none other than Myles Garrett, a five-time All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

This is all to say it's going to be a scorching hot summer when the Cowboys touch down in Southern California in late July, but not because of the glowing ball in the sky.

It's because of the one being snapped.

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