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Free Agency Tracker | 2023

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Subject to Change; Steele Viewed As Swing Tackle


PHOENIX There are many reasons why the NFL doesn't play games in March. 

Aside from the obvious offseason needs of recovery time and preparation required for the next year, it's also too early to figure out just how and where certainly players are going to line up.

Such is the case at offensive tackle, where the Cowboys - right now - have somewhat of a surplus at the position. 

Of course, things can always change and in terms of Tyron Smith and his health, the Cowboys have seen plenty of that over the last few years. That is why they are covering themselves in his contract, which will be heavily-weighted on play-time, allowing him to earn anywhere from $6-17 million, depending on his starts. 

But on Monday, owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked about the status of Terence Steele, based off a recent report that he could be used some at left guard in an effort to play both Tyler Smith and Tyron Smith at the tackle spots. 

"He's such a top tackle … as we have it right now, he should be the backup tackle on both sides as we would look at it right today," Jones said during the NFL Owner's Meetings. "That's a lot of position flex right there. You say, 'why don't you move Tyler in (to guard)?' but we also know that Tyron and Tyler both would make quite a tandem out there. The smart play would be to have outstanding depth there and Steele gives you that."

That seems a bit odd considering Steele had such a good season at right tackle for the Cowboys before his ACL injury in December. And the Cowboys made sure to protect themselves with their restricted free agent, placing the second-round tender on Steele, assuring them of at least a second-round pick if he signs an offer sheet with another club and the Cowboys choose not to match. 

The Cowboys have plenty of options now on the offensive line, especially with Tyler Smith having the flexibility to play tackle and guard and Tyron Smith showing last year he could still play either right or left tackle. 

Jones said adding Steele to the mix gives the Cowboys more depth at the position they've had in quite some time. 

"To me, what Steele does is be a part of a three-man position look when you look at the tackles," Jones said. "That is the best that we've ever been fixed. We have Tyron when he's available and we have Steele there that's going to get his snaps and may get a lot of snaps. And then you have your young (player) Tyler who is just outstanding and has nothing but upside ahead of him. I think looking at it that way gives us as good as tackle position as we've been."

Jones also mentioned Matt Waletzko as a player who could factor into the Cowboys' plans at either guard or tackle. 

But speaking at left guard, Jones was asked just where the Cowboys might go to replace Connor McGovern, who signed with the Bills in free agency. 

"We could address is in the draft, we could address it from the interior with a couple of our young guys," Jones said, referring to Waletzko and possibly Matt Farniok. "I'm ready to go from within."

The Cowboys have some options right now and seem to be protecting themselves against an injury. But if not, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out come August and September.

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