Cowboys draft Tyler Guyton, Cooper Beebe to rebuild O-line


FRISCO, Texas — When the Dallas Cowboys have been at their best over the past decade or so, their offensive line has been the reason.

Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyler Smith were all first-round picks who made a Pro Bowl. The Cowboys view Tyron Smith and Martin as certain Hall of Famers. They have compared Tyler Smith to another Hall of Famer, Larry Allen. Health led to an early retirement for Frederick, but he was a multiple-time Pro Bowler.

But it wasn’t just the first-round picks. La’el Collins, Ron Leary, Doug Free, Connor Williams, Connor McGovern and Tyler Biadasz, all of whom were picked after the first round, were key parts to lines that led the way for NFL-leading rushers and Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

With the departures of Tyron Smith (New York Jets) and Biadasz (Washington Commanders) in free agency, the Cowboys needed to retool their offensive line on the run, primarily through the draft.

With the No. 24 pick, they were poised to take Graham Barton, the Duke center, but with 45 seconds left on the clock, they agreed to a trade with the Detroit Lions that garnered them the 29th and 73rd picks. While it called on them to forgo drafting Barton, they managed to grab Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton at No. 29 and Kansas State lineman Cooper Beebe at No. 73.

In the seventh round, the Cowboys added a guard/tackle in Nate Thomas, but Guyton and Beebe will be given the chance to earn starting spots.

“We weren’t even trying to be coy about our interest in offensive linemen,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “This is the year to be interested in them because of the depth in the draft, and we took advantage of that in every respect with a great trade.”

The last time the Cowboys traded back in the first round and landed an offensive lineman was in 2013, when they made a deal with the San Francisco 49ers and took Frederick at No. 31.

Many scoffed at that pick. One draft expert had Frederick as a sixth-round pick. He started every game he played, earned a Pro Bowl spot five times and was an All-Pro in 2016.



Tyler Guyton’s NFL draft profile

Check out some of the top highlights from Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton.

There likewise are questions about Guyton and Beebe.

Guyton started only 14 games in college, and all of them were at right tackle. He will have to make the move to left tackle. The Cowboys were quick to point out that Tyron Smith was a right tackle at USC before moving to left tackle in his second season in Dallas.

“There’s no big difference for me,” Guyton said. “I feel like it’s only flipping plays and flipping techniques. I don’t think it’ll be a hard job to do. I’m really excited for it.”

Tyron Smith was a tackle Guyton often studied, and not just because he grew up a Cowboys fan.

“His technique is so refined, and he’s one of the best to ever do it for a reason,” Guyton said of Smith. “His hand placement, his head placement, his nastiness and his finishing in the run game is second to none.”

At Kansas State, Beebe played games at left tackle, left guard, right tackle and right guard, but none at center, although he did take snaps in practices. He had discussions with the Cowboys before the draft about playing center. He worked at the position with Duke Manyweather of OL Masterminds prior to the draft.

“Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do,” Beebe said.

Martin was a left tackle at Notre Dame but immediately moved to right guard. Tyler Smith started 23 games at left tackle for Tulsa but was prepared to play left guard before Tyron Smith suffered a severe hamstring injury that required surgery. Tyler Smith started 16 of 17 games at left tackle as a rookie but moved full-time to left guard last year and was named to the Pro Bowl.

“If they are athletic and have the work ethic that you need and they’re willing to learn, that’s an opportunity to grow and improve,” vice president of player personnel Will McClay said. “In college football, they are not playing football the way that you do in the NFL all the time. You’ve got to be able to teach them, and they’ve got to be able to do that.

“They have to want to do it, and they’ve got to have the ability to do it. I think that’s one of the things too. You’ve got to be athletic enough, and you’ve got to have the work ethic and the willingness and the mental capabilities to do this. So we feel like going through that with Guyton gives us an opportunity to do that.”

Coach Mike McCarthy believes Beebe can do that at center.

“Everybody you talk to thinks it’s a no-brainer for him to go in there and play full-time,” McCarthy said.

But McCarthy likes more than the position flexibility.

“This guy is a helluva interior football player,” McCarthy said. “The contact balance, the footwork. I don’t recall another lineman in the draft dumping as many defenders on the ground as Cooper. So just love his play style.”

This is the third time the Cowboys have selected offensive linemen with two of their first three picks. In 1994, they took Allen and George Hegamin in the second and third rounds, respectively. In 2004, they took Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman in the second and third rounds, respectively, although neither played a snap in a regular-season game for the Cowboys.

But Dallas has improved its success rate, especially in earlier rounds, at offensive line with its current scouting regime.

Beebe and Guyton hope to carry on the legacy that the Cowboys have had on the offensive line for the better part of a decade.

“You talk about Zack Martin and those kinds of guys. I mean, they’re some of the best to ever do it,” Beebe said. “They play with that dirty kind of mindset. They’re going to blow people off the ball, and they’re going to do the dirty work. I’m excited to join that and help elevate the offensive line.”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button