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What's Up at G/C? Questions about present, future


FRISCO, Texas — In the glass half-full approach, the Cowboys are better than solid in the interior of the line, thanks to Pro Bowl seasons from Zack Martin and Tyler Smith – who have the right and left guard spots handled – at least for this year.

But in between them will be some question marks, mainly because of the free-agent departure of Tyler Biadasz.

But the Cowboys addressed the position in the draft and have some options for competition. Whoever starts at center will have the luxury of leaning on both Martin and Smith to his right and left.

With that, it's time to discuss "What's Up" at guard/center for the Cowboys.

What We Know: The Cowboys have a pair of Pro Bowlers lining up at guard with Tyler Smith and Zack Martin. That's a great starting point for an offensive line that saw its share of change and with two other positions up in the air. But the rock-steady part of the line is Smith and Martin, who have a steady blend of youth and experience – but both have been better than good when healthy. Obviously, Martin is on another level as he has made nine Pro Bowls in his 10-year career but regardless of age, the strength of this O-line is at guard.

What We Don't: We don't know who will start at center – plain and simple. It's probably the biggest position battle on the team right now. The Cowboys drafted Cooper Beebe to play center but he's never actually taken a rep in a college game at center. Brock Hoffman has some experience and he's got some support within the coaching staff to win the job. But it'll all come down to what happens at camp. The trick will be for the Cowboys to get a fair rotation for Beebe, Hoffman and maybe T.J. Bass, without taking too long in the process because developing chemistry is vital.

What to Watch For: Beyond this year, there has been some talk about what the future holds for Zack Martin, who recently made some comments about this possibly being his last year with the Cowboys. Not only is he in the final year of his contract, but Martin hinted that the "wear and tear" on his body has him already thinking about retirement. How he plays this year will probably dictate his decision. So while the focus is on 2024, Martin could be in the last season of his career as well.