Cowboys: Mike McCarthy prepping for major competition to protect Dak Prescott

Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys. (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys. (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

Now that the Dallas Cowboys have paid Dak Prescott, they need to find the best lineup to protect him in 2021. Mike McCarthy is expecting competition inside.

The 2020 season was painful for the Cowboys, dealing with a season-ending injury to Dak Prescott while being hit with a devastating number of injuries on the offensive line.

Fortunately for Dallas, fans should expect the team to be much improved in the trenches in 2021. Stalwarts will return while the rest of the line could benefit from the experience gained last year.

“Frankly, I think we’re going to have a very competitive situation for the offensive line,” McCarthy said during a Cowboys press conference.

The Cowboys can lead on sure-things and competition to renew the line

Dallas’ offensive line could turn out fairly simple to put together.

Tyron Smith and La’el Collins should be back healthy at the tackles spots. Their injuries in 2020 sent the entire offensive line into disarray, which was a shame for McCarthy, who called the tackles part of the attraction of the job in the first place.

Right guard Zach Martin also missed much of last season. The former All-Pro will slot back in so long as he’s healthy.

Three of the five positions are locked down. A fourth might be as well if McCarthy and company are truly committed to Tyler Biadasz at center.

The rookie started four games at the position in 2020 before missing four games with injury. With Joe Looney gone in free agency, he’s the only real option.

Jerry Jones could address center in the draft if he wants more competition there.

Over at left guard, there could be a valuable battle between Connor Williams and Connor McGovern.

Williams made strides in his third year on the job, particularly in pass protection.

McGovern was thrust into the starting lineup as a rookie. He won’t be the favorite to win the job, but that’s what competition is for.

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