The Dallas Cowboys have notched their 10th win of the season against the Houston Texans, but it didn’t come without a few scares and a few scars.
The Cowboys pulled off a 27-23 win after trailing late in the game, putting together a 98-yard drive for the go-ahead score through a short-range score from running back Ezekiel Elliott with under a minute remaining.
While the win helps Dallas stay in the NFC East race, they may have to navigate it without a key starter: right tackle Terence Steele. Steele went down during the game with a knee issue and did not return. According to Yahoo’s Jori Epstein, a source has described the issue as “not good.”
“Too soon to know exact timeline on Cowboys RT Terence Steele’s left knee injury,” Epstein Tweeted on December 11. “But one source with knowledge of the report makes clear: It’s ‘not good.’”
After the game, Dallas owner Jerry Jones announced the team’s plan at right tackle, which includes moving veteran tackle Jason Peters to the other side of the line.
“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,” The Athletic’s Jon Machota Tweeted. “No plan to move Tyron Smith or Tyler Smith to RT.”
Peters Is Proven, But Could Face Challenging Test
A guy like Peters needs little introduction: nine Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro selections and 18 seasons in the NFL. So when the Cowboys signed him earlier this fall, it made waves.
Dallas needed a backup at left tackle after Tyron Smith suffered a torn hamstring in August. After nearly 17 seasons of being a starter, the 40-year-old has taken on a more hands-off role by contributing when he can and teaching the game to rookie and 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith.
Now, Dallas may need him to turn back the clock and be an out-and-out protector on the right side. Pro Football Reference shows that Peters played on the right side consistently early on in his career with the Buffalo Bills, but has spent the past 15 years primarily as a left tackle.
Having Ball as an option relieves some of the pressure on Peters, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Cowboys don’t lean on Peters should Steele be ruled out going forward.
Cowboys Veteran Came in Late Against Texans
After Steele went down, the Cowboys looked to Peters against Houston with their backs up against the wall. Needing a 98-yard drive to take a late lead, Peters came in for the offense and did well.
Peters, and the rest of the Dallas offensive line, kept the pocket clean for quarterback Dak Prescott who was able to complete six of seven passes for 79 receiving yards and set up the eventual go-ahead score from Zeke.
If the final drive was any indicator, Peters should have little trouble shifting over to the right side of the line. Granted, his first test was against a feeble Texans defense and things will only get more difficult for the 40-year-old as the Cowboys approach the playoffs.