Adding a former Super Bowl champ is something any team should consider, and the Dallas Cowboys have that opportunity with a former Green Bay Packers star.
For over a decade, Aaron Rodgers has been leading the Packers’ offense to success. But the only way he’s able to do that is with good protection, and he often found that with right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
But Bulaga, now 33 years old, moved on after the 2019 season and is again a free agent after his stint with the Los Angeles Chargers. In terms of adding potential players to replace right tackle Terence Steele after his season-ending injury, Dallas would be hard-pressed to find a better available option.
Dallas has a plan that doesn’t involve adding any new names (more on that below,) but it comes with risk. Losing another starter at either tackle position would be a full-blown injury crisis, and the Cowboys have relied heavily on their offensive line for rushing success this season.
Bulaga is not only a proven talent but has also gone the distance: the Super Bowl XLV winner would bring championship experience into their locker room ahead of a playoff run.
Bulaga as Experienced as They Come
Big things were expected of Bulaga when he was entering the 2010 NFL draft cycle. He had earned All-Big Ten honors in his final two years at Iowa, which led to the Packers taking him in the first round as the 23rd overall pick.
Famously, Bulaga took the opportunity and ran. According to Pro Football Reference, Bulaga started 12 regular season games that year before starting in each of the Packers’ four playoff victories on their way to a Lombardi trophy.
From that point forward, Bulaga became Green Bay’s No. 1 right tackle, a job that he held until 2020. However, he did consistently deal with injuries, missing 29 regular season games over his nine seasons with the Packers.
Those issues reappeared again with the Chargers, playing 10 games in 2020 and 1 game in 2021. Fortunately, Dallas wouldn’t really need Bulaga to take a huge amount of snaps or play in many games, considering it’s already Week 15.
Cowboys’ Current Plan for Right Tackle
Dallas could certainly still look for free agency help, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did say that the immediate solution would be in-house rather than through some form of reinforcements.
As Heavy has previously covered and The Athletic’s Jon Machota Tweeted, Jones spoke after the Week 14 win over the Houston Texans and explained that Jason Peters will shift over to right tackle to cover along with backup Josh Ball.
“Jerry Jones didn’t know the severity of Terence Steele’s knee injury, but said Jason Peters and Josh Ball will get opportunities at right tackle if Steele is out,” Machota Tweeted. “No plan to move Tyron Smith or Tyler Smith to RT.”
Peters is one of the greatest tackles of his generation but is now 40 years old, while Ball is a second-year player that was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. For what it’s worth, Peters was the one who stepped in at right tackle on Dallas’ 98-yard, game-winning drive to beat the Texans in Week 14.