The Cowboys have signed OT Byron Bell, 28, to a 1-year deal, this Friday. Bell signed with the team following a Friday visit, ESPN’s Todd Archer first reported. The lineman spent 2015 with the Titans and was injured during OTAs this past season. He was highly respected in the organization in Tennessee and they were devestated when he went down. Bell also spent 4 years with the Panthers, primarily as a starter. He has started 72 of 78 career games, including 16 during his lone healthy season with the Titans in 2015. There are incentives to high production for Bell this season, he will earn an additional $500,000 if he starts and $450,000 if he meets a certain weight.
This move provides depth as well a potential starter to a powerhouse offensive line who now has a hole at the right tackle position with the recent retirement of longtime Dallas Cowboy, Doug Free.
Now what are the chances Byron Bell comes into Dallas and start? To further understand the situation here are some of Bell’s strengths and weaknesses.
First off, from the naked eye you can see he is obviously a very big and powerful athlete. One thing that Bell has that many his size do not have is good feet, he moves his feet very quickly, especially for his size. Now these attributes have bailed him from his only significant weakness throughout his career, he lacks great technique. Now coming into Dallas, he has a chance to play with 4 of the best offensive linemen in the NFL, and he will be able to get away with improper technique from time to time. However, RT is one of the most important positions on the field so he really cannot slip up too much for the sake of the unit. From the way the roster sits up to date, it seems that they are leaving La’el Collins at left guard and not moving him to right tackle as team officials have repeatedly expressed their desire to keep him at guard.
Therefore, his only real competition is Chaz Green, a third-year tackle out of Florida. Reports are said that Green is the favorite to start at RT. I would say that he does have the edge to start just because he has been in the system for a few years now and he was originally a third round pick, so there was a decent investment in him. His career is yet to take off though, partially due to injuries. An offseason hip surgery forced him to miss all of his rookie season, and a foot injury ended his season after just one month last fall. Although I would not count Bell out of the starting lineup, if the Cowboys do not make any major moves the job will most likely be won in either training camp or even the preseason.
Published by: Nicco Vocaturo