It’s like it was just yesterday when the offensive line was Cowboys in Dallas He was in turmoil. The team lost left-footed starter Tyron Smith for most of the season after injuring his leg at a training camp. We got our first glimpse of uncertain youngsters Josh Paul and Matt Waltzko in pre-season excitement, and it wasn’t pretty. Until the team’s featured draft, Tyler Smith was initially transferred to the left-hander to replace departing Conor Williams, and his play was a mixed bag where there were some promising actors, but also some plays that needed to be cleaned up. Suffice to say, this created a very uncomfortable feeling for Cowboys fans who had been hoping to see an improved offensive line this season.
Enter Jason Peters.
We discussed this idea during the BTB Roundtable on Tuesday on The Boys podcast. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss out on any of our offers! Apple devices can sign up here And the Spotify users can sign up here.
While many of us were hoping to see the signing of a veteran free agent join the squad soon, Peters’ addition was still a welcome sight. At the age of 40, he’s definitely not the player he used to be, but he’s still a viable blocker in the intervening position. The only downside is that we now have to wait for the veteran to get up quickly and be ready to take the field.
Oddly enough, things have changed since Peters signed, and they’ve changed for the better. In fact, what we’ve seen over the past two games may provide enough case to keep Peters on the alert for the time being.
1. Moving Tyler Smith from the left would stunt his growth
I’ll be the first person to admit I was wrong about Tulsa’s treatment. He looked like he was out of college and looked like a player who would need a lot of work before he could be counted on to keep him consistently unreported for getting sanctioned (which plagued him in college).
Smith played a strong first match in the first week against a really strong attack from Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did some things well, others not so well. In fact, take a look at the details of 22 of that game to explain some of its pros and cons in this performance.
With his strength outside the gate, Smith looked better against another massive edge attack than Cincinnati Bengals. You can see that the young intervention is starting to get more comfortable and will only get better from this point on.
There was a time when what Peters could give the team now exceeded what they could get from Smith early on, but Smith is up and running fast. They are really close in what they can deliver, so why not let things run their course and let Smith improve? If he continues to develop at this rate, he will be the better of the two in the middle of the season.
2. McGovern will be back soon
One of the big reasons people are calling for Peters to be inserted into the left intervention is to upgrade the left guard point by moving Smith inward. That makes sense because sophomore guard Matt Varniuk is the obvious weak link along the offensive line. If Varniuk was expected to be the guy for an extended period of time, that would make sense, but it isn’t. McGovern should be back soon and could be back around the same time Peters is ready to see the field.
It’s worth noting that McGovern has looked a lot better this season, which is not the responsibility Farniuk has. We have to consider the possibility that the left-hand side Smith-McGovern combo is the strongest arrangement. We’re assuming Peters is still a good tackler and we’re assuming that Smith can play in the left keeper just as well as he’s playing the tackle, but we don’t know that for sure. What we do know is that Smith plays well in interference and McGovern has played well on guard, so why mess with this when these guys are only getting better?
3. Chemistry is important
Over the past two seasons, the Cowboys have repeatedly moved around their offensive line while scratching and clawing to find the best arrangement. This made things really tricky when it came to building any kind of cohesion along the offensive line. At the moment, they have a good group of young players and Zach Martin. This group is starting to work really well together and they are getting to know better where they are supposed to be. You cannot overestimate how valuable this is. A streak that brings together, wins together, and this young team looked very impressive on Sunday against the Bengals.
We don’t talk about it enough, but the Cowboys’ offensive line did a great job working together and withstood a very good Sensei front. pic.twitter.com/JykX1vhC9y
– Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) September 20 2022
The Cowboys played two really good defensive fronts to start the year and these guys held up on their fronts. Things will get easier for them as they build more Chemistry and weaken the opponent’s strength.
4. Keep Peters healthy
Having a veteran like Peters as a swing tackle stands a good chance, but expect him to hold up week after week as your starting job can be a daunting task. In fact, if you look at how far it has been over the past several years, it looks very similar to another Hall of Fame entry in the future.
Tyron Smith first 5 seasons = 1
Tyron Smith last 6 seasons = 32
Jason Peters during his 9th straight Pro Bowl = 12
Jason Peters since (last five seasons) = 22
Smith has not played a full season in the last 6 years, but Peters has also not played in 4 of the last 5 years.
– Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) September 2, 2022
Instead of throwing it in there and expecting it to hold out for an entire season, why not keep it on the shelf until he needs it? If Peters is clearly not the best option, and may not be, just keep it on the bench and use it only if necessary.
5. Great left hand deals are hard to find
If Tyler Smith can play the left tackle at a high level, but also play the left guard at a high level, that’s great. But all things being equal, that should indicate that he is now the new left-handed Cowboys tackle. Left intervention mode is one of the “five money” modes and quality treats don’t grow on trees. If the Cowboys have a chance to harness the tackling greatness of another future star, who is only 21 years old, just as Tyron Smith appears on his way out, you play with him in the tackle and thank your lucky stars!