By David Helman
FOX Sports Dallas Cowboys Writer
The dream of adding some offensive line help is alive and well at The Star.
As the Dallas Cowboys continue to fine-tune their roster ahead of Week 1, team owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed Friday that veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters is at the team’s facility for a physical. Meetings about a potential deal are expected to follow.
Peters has been the dominant storyline of the past week, as the Cowboys have been linked to the nine-time Pro Bowler since they made their final roster cuts Tuesday.
The reasoning should be obvious. Having lost Tyron Smith for most, if not all of the regular season, the roster looks perilously think at the offensive tackle spot. Other than Terence Steele, the Cowboys’ only three options to play left tackle — Tyler Smith, Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball — have never appeared in a regular-season game.
Obviously, there is the caveat that Tyler Smith was the team’s first-round pick, selected No. 24 overall in this year’s NFL draft. The Cowboys continue to hint that the rookie from Tulsa will get the first crack at playing left tackle.
Jones acknowledged Friday morning that, though it will likely come with some growing pains, he thinks Smith can give the Cowboys adequate left tackle play right away.
“He’s got everything we hoped and more when we drafted him,” Jones told 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas. “Do I wish we had Tyron? Yes. Will we get Tyron back? Likely. But in the meantime, he’s going to come in and get a Harvard Doctor’s degree in playing left tackle between now and then. Will we pay some price with it? Yes. Can we win with him paying the price? I think so, yes.”
It would still be smart to add depth, and that’s where Peters comes in. The 40-year-old has started 218 games across a decorated career. In addition to the nine Pro Bowls, he was a first-team All-Pro for the Eagles in both 2011 and 2013 and was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team.
After 16 seasons, it’d be a mistake to assume the Cowboys would be getting that level of play. But Peters proved in 15 starts for the Chicago Bears in 2021 that he can still get the job done. If Smith isn’t quite ready for the spotlight, Peters could step in and start.
And in a more favorable scenario where Smith is up for the challenge, Peters would likely be the most experienced swing tackle in the league. It makes perfect sense why the Cowboys would pursue a deal with Peters. Now all they have to do is close it.
David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports. He previously spent nine seasons covering the Cowboys for the team’s official website. In 2018, he won a regional Emmy for his role in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” about the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Follow him on Twitter @davidhelman_.
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