NFL Reporter Links Beloved Ex-Packers Star to Cowboys: ‘Perfect Piece’

Jerry Jones

Getty Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, smiles to fans before a game.

The Dallas Cowboys need an important addition on the offensive side of the ball, and a former Green Bay Packers star needs a new NFL team.

The departure of longtime offensive tackle La’el Collins from Dallas was expected this offseason. However, the Cowboys appear to be covered as tackle Terence Steele has established himself as worthy of the starting job in recent seasons and Dallas also drafted Tulsa offensive line prospect Tyler Smith in the first round.

However, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes that the Cowboys may need more depth, and lists free agent Bryan Bulaga. Knox names Bulaga after stating that Smith has already received offensive guard reps in practice, and isn’t really a lock for the future tackle positions despite being thought of as a player who can play guard or tackle.

“It would still behoove the Cowboys to add an experienced swing tackle to the equation, though, and Dallas should at least kick the tires on Bryan Bulaga,” Knox wrote. “The 33-year-old only played in 11 games over the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. However, he’s been a dependable starter when healthy and worked under head coach Mike McCarthy when both were with the Green Bay Packers.”

After nine seasons as the Packers starting right tackle, Bulaga has struggled to hit the field in his last two years with the Chargers. Reuniting with McCarthy would be a way to get him back on the field and in a comfortable spot.

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Bulaga’s Impressive NFL Resume

Considering how vital he was to the Packers offensive line for nearly a decade, it’s almost hard to believe that the 33-year-old has never earned a Pro Bowl or First-Team All-Pro nod in his NFL career. Protecting Aaron Rodgers was an important task, and Bulaga did that for a long time.

According to Pro Football Reference, Bulaga started 111 regular-season games over nine seasons for the Packers. His rookie season in the NFL in 2010 saw him start all four games of the Packers’ Super Bowl winning playoff run.

Bulaga did get handed a sizable second contract in Green Bay, when the Packers paid the Iowa alum a five-year, $33.75 million deal in 2015 according to Spotrac. The Chargers then gave Bulaga a three-year, $30 million deal in 2020 when the former Packers star hit free agency.

However, the Chargers’ deal is more of a red flag to the Cowboys than it is a good sign.

Cowboys Need to Consider Former Packers Star’s Injury Issues

As Knox mentions, back and groin injuries caused Bulaga to miss 22 of a possible 33 games over the past two years. He only played in one game in 2021, and Los Angeles elected to release Bulaga this past March.

The Chargers spending a decent chunk of money on a player who missed 66% of their games should affect how the Cowboys would consider a deal with Bulaga. Dallas has to make sure they get decent value on a deal like this, which is why Knox mentions a small potential salary.

“He won’t command an excessive salary while trying to reestablish himself. Something in the $3-4 million range would probably get a one-year deal done,” Knox explained. “With 122 starts on his resume and plenty of familiarity with McCarthy and offensive line coach Joe Philbin, the Iowa product could be the perfect piece of depth to add before Week 1.”

That kind of price is worth the upside that Bulaga can bring, but anything beyond just makes the investment riskier. If the Cowboys are actually in the market for a swing tackle, they couldn’t do much better than the former Packers lineman.

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