Cowboys: 3 worst moves of the 2022 offseason

La'el Collins, Cowboys

La’el Collins, Dallas Cowboys. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

After winning the NFC East and disappointing in the playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys offseason has featured several moves that don’t inspire confidence.

On the heels of a 12-5 season that ultimately ended with a letdown in the playoffs, the hope among fans — and almost surely within the organization otherwise — was that the Dallas Cowboys were set to build upon the groundwork they laid with a healthy Dak Prescott, a talent-laden offense, and a drastically improved defense.

Unfortunately, the 2022 offseason hasn’t done much to further that optimism. Between the numerous key players that are no longer in the building and a draft class that’s fine but surely not great based on a gut reaction, the Cowboys’ offseason has been one of the most criticized in the league.

But as we are set to enter the summer months, let’s look back at the biggest missteps for the organization with the worst moves Dallas made in the 2022 offseason.

Cowboys worst moves of the 2022 offseason

3. Releasing La’el Collins and inadequately replacing him

Amid a number of cost-cutting moves that the Cowboys were forced to make throughout the offseason, one of them was releasing last year’s starting right tackle La’el Collins. He went on to eventually sign with the Cincinnati Bengals. As for Dallas, they’re set to move their backup who replaced Collins during a suspension last season, Terrence Steele, into the full-time starting role.

On the most basic level, Collins is just a superior player to Steele, even with the improvements that the latter made in the 2021 campaign. The front office has long mismanaged big contracts, which led to them feeling as if they had to part ways with Collins and effectively downgrade on the right bookend of the offensive line.

Assuming that Steele continues to improve, the two tackle spots should be fine for the club in the 2022 season. However, the issue arises with the fact that they now have inadequate depth at the position. Sure, the team drafted Tyler Smith out of Tulsa in the first round, but he’s slated to likely replace Connor Williams, who also left this offseason, at left guard.

Outside of Smith, the club has 2022 fifth-round pick Matt Waletzko and 2021 fourth-rounder Josh Ball as the backup tackles. For a team that has long been invested in running the ball and that surely needs to keep Dak Prescott healthy, it’s hard to not look at the shuffling on the O-line as a net negative, which starts with feeling compelled to release Collins.

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