The Dallas Cowboys boast the top pair of offensive tackles in the NFL with Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. Ahead of Sunday’s bout with the Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa said he respected the duo but isn’t fretting the task at hand.
“I think they’re both very solid players,” Bosa said Thursday, via the team’s Twitter feed. “Obviously, Tyron’s had a Hall of Fame career, I think. And him and (49ers) Trent (Williams) have been the best tackles in the league for a long time. But they’re definitely beatable. There’s tape on them getting beat, and we’re trying to do the same. They’ve definitely been in and out of the lineup a lot this year and the past years, so, the game plan is to make them work.”
Smith remains one of the top left tackles in the NFL when healthy. The future Hall of Famer is dealing with knee and ankle injuries but is expected to play Sunday.
No tackle duo received a higher blocking ranking than Smith and Collins this season, per Pro Football Focus grades. Smith rated as the No. 2 tackle (behind the 49ers’ Williams) and Collins the No. 8 OT, among players with at least 600 blocking snaps, per PFF.
However, Smith and Collins have missed a combined 11 games this season. And penalties have been an issue (as they have with seemingly the entire Dallas team), with Smith being flagged seven times and Collins eight.
Bosa, meanwhile, has been a menace, corralling career-highs with 15.5 sacks (fourth-most in NFL), 32 QB hits (third) and 21 tackles for loss (T-first). Bosa’s dominance allows him some leeway to be cocky before facing any OT duo. Oh, and he did all this after returning from a torn ACL – somehow, that part always gets lost in the shuffle.
Bosa versus the Cowboys’ OTs will be a key to Sunday’s affair. If the edge rusher is constantly in Dak Prescott’s face, it won’t matter how many weapons the Cowboys have on the outside.