Cowboys Sign Former Washington Starting OT

Former Washington OT Ty Nsekhe

Getty Former Washington OT Ty Nsekhe

In a corresponding roster move after losing Cameron Erving to Carolina, the Cowboys signed unrestricted free-agent offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe to a one-year contract, his Dallas-based agency announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal are not available at press time.

Nsekhe becomes the second outside free agent added by the Cowboys since Monday’s opening of the legal tampering window. The team also inked former Los Angeles Rams long snapper Jake McQuaide to a one-year pact while retaining a slew of its own unsigned talent, including wide receivers Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson, cornerback C.J. Goodwin, and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods.

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Background on Nsekhe

The Texas State product’s story is a fascinating one. After going undrafted in 2009, Nsekhe began his professional career in the Arena Football League, spending time with the Corpus Christi Sharks (2009), Dallas Vigilantes (2010), Philadelphia Soul (2011), and San Antonio Talons (2012). He then shared cups of coffee with the Indianapolis Colts (2012) and the formerly-St. Louis Rams (2012), appearing in two games for the Rams that year. And onward he went.

Nsekhe resurfaced with New Orleans (2014), the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes (2014), and now-Washington Football Club (2015). He rejoined Washington a week after his initial release and over time developed into their go-to swing tackle. Nsekhe played in 13 games in 2015, making two starts, and all 16 games (four starts) in 2016. He would start 10 games over the following two seasons before landing a two-year, $14.5 million free-agent deal — $7.7 million guaranteed — from the Buffalo Bills.

Nsekhe was mainly a reserve for the Bills, appearing in 25 games but starting only one from 2019-2020. He was a favorite, however, of Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane, who acknowledged his unignorable size (6-8, 330) and eye-catching technical abilities.

“Ty is a guy who has persevered and wasn’t this big draft pick or anything. He’s played well,” Beane said in 2019. “He’s played on several teams. What I saw with him when you turn the tape on is a guy who played both tackles and both guards as well. He has position flex. He’s a big man to get around and he can move. He’s got pretty good feet. I like the edge. You see a little bit of nasty to him. That’s what was attractive with his game.”

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Fit with Cowboys

As mentioned, this is a one-for-one swap: Nsekhe will replace Erving as Dallas’ primary swing tackle, providing the team with much-needed insurance behind starters Tyron Smith and La’El Collins — both of whom are coming off season-ending injuries. At his age, 35-year-old Nsekhe is nobody’s idea of a long-term successor to Smith, but the hope is he’ll represent an upgrade on his predecessor.

Nsekhe slots in alongside Brandon Knight and Terence Steele on the tentative 2021 depth chart, though it’s likely the Cowboys continue to add to the offensive line via free agency or next month’s NFL draft, for which they currently hold 10 picks, including four selections within the top-100.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL