Anonymous college coach implies Cowboys drafted Tyler Guyton only because of length and athleticism

It has been a minute now since the Dallas Cowboys drafted Oklahoma tackle Tyler Guyton with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, after trading down with the Detroit Lions of course. In the moment it felt like most Cowboys fans were on board with the move given the need at tackle, both in the present and future. Guyton offers an answer for a decade in an ideal world, much like his predecessor, Tyron Smith.

It is possible that you have an issue with the way that Dallas has approached some part of their team this offseason. That is fine and understandable. Everybody has opinions and all of that jazz. But the Guyton pick (at least the spirit of it) seemed to be something that just about everyone agreed was in the best interest of where the Cowboys have found/put themselves this offseason, and therefore had almost a universal sense of approval from the fanbase.

One person does not seem to feel that way.

An anonymous college coach implied the Cowboys drafted Tyler Guyton only because of length and athleticism

On Monday the folks over at ESPN released a collection of thoughts related to the NFL draft through the lens of coaches across every power five conference. Insights from those people clearly are interesting.

This year’s draft featured a run on offensive linemen in the first round which exacerbated the Cowboys’ need to get a piece of it in Guyton. Dallas had a few more options when they were initially on the clock at 24 overall but traded back with the Lions and came away with pick number 73 as a result. Given that the selection in question became interior lineman Cooper Beebe made everything look great in hindsight.

But as things relate to Guyton, the anonymous voice does not seem to feel like he is much of a player and may be more of an athlete. The implication seems to be that Dallas drafted Guyton based on length and athleticism, not necessarily production playing the game of football.

“Whether they’re going to bust or not, you have to have the physical tools to be an elite tackle,” he said. “The Joe Alts, the Lathams, the [Olu] Fashanus, they’ve got them. Will they pan out or not? Who knows. But you can be an edge rusher at a lot of different heights, weight, sizes, arm lengths. Same thing with quarterbacks — you can just be a winner. At tackle, if you don’t have those [physical traits] that are rare, it’s hard.”

Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton, at 6-8 and 322 pounds, certainly fits the description and capped the run of first-round offensive linemen, going No. 29 to the Dallas Cowboys.

“He never played at TCU, he was not an every-down player at Oklahoma last year, and he’s drafted in the first round,” a Big 12 coach said. “That’s because he’s long. It really is crazy. People think if you’re long and athletic, they can coach the rest.”

To be fair to the anonymous voice here the implication seems to be said in a not-necessarily-rude way. Traits like length and athleticism are hardly common things and therefore justify taking a player in the first round. Thinking that “the rest” can be coached up is hardly a massive assumption, but even if it is, the Cowboys absolutely have the benefit of the doubt in this arena.

Again, we can be upset about certain things that the Cowboys have done or continue to do, but when it comes to offensive linemen taken in the first round they simply do not miss. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyler Smith have all proven to be wonderful players for the team so a belief in the well providing the same relief that it has in the past is justified.

Jerry Jones noted in the team’s pre-draft press conference that Mike McCarthy also has a history of developing later-drafted linemen in his overall tenure in the NFL which is obviously true. McCarthy’s days with the Green Bay Packers speak for themselves and haunt us in our deepest nightmares, unfortunately.

But we have seen that trend ripple into the Cowboys as well. Terence Steele was an undrafted free agent who has thrived completely in the McCarthy era so much so that he was rewarded with an extension last year. Now obviously 2023 was not his best season, but getting that much runway out of a UDFA is the point that McCarthy and his staff also know what they are doing here.

Hopefully everyone involved can help Tyler Guyton be the next great name in this overall discussion.


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