Cowboys considering major shakeup on O-line

When the Cowboys saw long-time starting left tackle Tyron Smith sign with the Jets in free agency, we noted that third-year offensive lineman Tyler Smith was the easy answer to replace him as the starter at the position in 2024. It didn’t take long for Dallas to follow that same logic, with the team now toying with the idea of where the remaining Smith will line up next season, per David Moore of The Dallas Morning News.

Cowboys considering major shakeup on O-line

Tyron Smith was allowed to walk as Cowboys owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones explained that the team couldn’t afford to keep him and risk paying on some of the incentives that the Jets had included in their contract for him, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He also noted the possibility of kicking Tyler back out to tackle as Dallas prepares for the draft.

Tyler was drafted in the first round out of Tulsa two years ago with the intention that he would eventually replace Tyron. As injuries kept Tyron out for most of the 2022 season, Tyler heeded his calling much earlier than expected and started every game of his rookie season at left tackle in place of Tyron. Tyler excelled in the role, grading out as the 25th-best offensive tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), an impressive result for a rookie.

With Tyron back and healthy in 2023, Tyler shifted in to left guard, where he would earn both Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors and grade out as the league’s 11th-best guard, per PFF. So, the team will have to broach the question of whether Smith earned those honors because he’s simply another year more experienced or if he’s simply better at guard than he is at tackle.

If the team shifts him back out to tackle, they will then be tasked with replacing Smith at left guard and replacing Tyler Biadasz, who signed with the rival Commanders, at center. Some believe that Smith could remain at left guard, and the team could use their No. 24 overall draft pick to select Tyron’s replacement at tackle. The team expects such tackle prospects as Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton, Georgia’s Amarius Mims, and Washington’s Troy Fautanu to all be available by the time they’re on the clock.

It truly seems like Tyler Smith could excel at either position, and if that’s true, it may make more sense to keep him at guard, though that seems counterintuitive. Although left tackle is considered the more valuable position, the Cowboys seem to have a better chance at finding a strong starter at tackle in the draft than at guard. Solidifying Smith at guard while hitting a home run in the draft would fill out four of the five positions on the line, leaving Dallas with one more piece to address.

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