The injury to Terrence Steele may not be good news in the near term for the Cowboys, but there is an upside for Josh Ball. Real game reps are the fastest way for a player to learn and develop. The Cowboys aren’t going to put the entire burden of replacing Steele on Ball. With Tyron Smith returning, who played right tackle during the 2011 season, and future HOF tackle Jason Peters available, the Cowboys will protect Ball from being overexposed.
But the injury to Steele means that Ball will also be the primary Right Tackle in training camp next year and is likely to begin the 2023 season as the starter. This trial by fire may pay long term dividends for the team if Ball is able to improve his game. If not, there is Matt Waletzko.
In addition to developing 2020 rookie Terrence Steele into a starting NFL tackle, the Cowboys have drafted three more offensive tackles in the drafts of 2021 and 2022. It’s not like the Cowboys didn’t anticipate the need. Now it’s just about development and implementation. Steele and Smith have both been starters this season. Time for the development of Ball and Waletzko.