The Dallas Cowboys interior offensive line is likely set. Rookie Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz and center and All-Pro Zack Martin at right guard. Fourth-year swing interior lineman Connor McGovern may also factor into this with the undetermined health of Tyron Smith and the rotation of the starting line.
It’s a new trio that will be tested immediately following preseason. The Cowboys’ first six opponents not only display some of the best quarterbacks in the game, but some of the best defensive linemen as well.
In fact, they’ll face off against four of the NFL’s 10 most disruptive defenders in that timeframe. Three playing with their hands in the dirt:
- Javon Hargrave
- Aaron Donald
- Trey Hendrickson
In addition to these players, they’ll face off against Pro Bowl players like Fletcher Cox, Johnathan Allen, Leonard Williams and Vita Vea, whom the Dallas Cowboys played against last season in week one.
All of these players play with power and disruptiveness to affect the running game, as well as pressure the QB.
Despite Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott playing better when blitzed, teams have come to play defense against this offense differently. Playing heavy coverage, while only rushing three or four players at a time. Breaking down pass protection and keeping receivers from getting open.
We can safely assume that Marin will play up to his usual All-Pro standards. So how will a rookie guard and center, who’s in the middle of a position battle, fair against some of the game’s best defensive linemen?
The Cowboys coaching staff has plenty of belief in Smith, as Prescott does for Biadasz. What will reaffirm their beliefs will be how well this interior unit plays together. It’s probably won’t be spotless but it will set the tone for the remainder of the season.
After the first six weeks, the defensive line competition dips in quality from team to team. If they can get through this trial by fire, it is probable to re-ignite the offensive line as a whole for the remainder of the season.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports