The Dallas Cowboys have quite the problem on their hands. A good problem to be clear. While the immediate focus is always the next opponent who the Cowboys will be facing (this week it is the New York Giants), there are always variables and factors swirling in the ether. One of this week’s specials off of the menu is the subject of Jason Peters and where the team should play him when he ultimately returns.
The Cowboys signed Peters the week that the regular season began. This was almost two weeks after Tyron Smith’s potentially season-ending hamstring injury so the conventional wisdom was that Peters would play at left tackle (not to mention his immense experience at the position).
Dallas has proven a lot of doubters wrong early this season, though, as their first-round rookie Tyler Smith looks like the real deal despite playing a position that he wasn’t supposed to play throughout his rookie season – left tackle. Many have called for the Cowboys to leave Smith out at left tackle even when Jason Peters is ready to return, and it seems like the team is considering that option.
Jason Peters saw work at both left guard and right tackle on Thursday
There is a lot of feeling that Peters should play left tackle when he is ready, but there are other options. The two most notable ones are left guard and right tackle (although our own Danny Phantom wrote recently here at BTB that Peters should stay on the bench).
As the Cowboys began on-field prep for the New York Giants on Thursday photos from members of the local media in attendance showed that Peters saw work at both left guard and right tackle.
Peters is certainly capable of kicking inside as we have seen him do that across the NFL very recently, but he was obviously signed with the intentions of him playing left tackle.
While it is not uncommon to ask players to kick inside or to the other side (even players of Peters’ stature), it is a dangerous game to play. The risk for injury is greater given the foreign nature of what a player is doing relative to their large body of work, but perhaps the Cowboys can make this work. As noted they have done so to this point with Tyler Smith. But “to this point” is an incredibly small sample size. It is very fair to be excited about the prospects of what Tyler Smith offers in the future, but the body of work here is so small and minute.
The Cowboys signed Jason Peters to play left tackle. Jason Peters at left tackle allows Tyler Smith to return to left guard. Not only is this literally where the Cowboys planned on playing Tyler for 90% of the time that he has been on the team at this point, but it helps field the best possible combination of five offensive linemen on the field at one point in time.
Time will tell what the team does here.