Texas Tech football alums: Terence Steele handles Joey Bosa in Dallas Cowboys victory
Heading into Sunday’s game with the Los Angeles Chargers, many people were predicting a loss for the Dallas Cowboys, and one reason why was the absence of as many as seven regulars from Dallas’ lineup. And, one Cowboy that many fans thought would struggle the most after being thrust into the starting lineup was Texas Tech football alum Terence Steele. However, that proved not to be the case as the right tackle more than held his own against one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in Dallas’ 20-17 win.
For virtually the entire game, Steele was asked to block the Chargers’ star defensive end, Joey Bosa. To understand what a challenge that was, know that, according to ProFootballReference.com, Bosa has racked up 48.5 sacks in his 65 career NFL games dating back to 2016. In fact, he’s already put up three double-digit sack seasons in his young career.
Therefore, many expected Steele to struggle on Sunday. But instead, he neutralized Bosa for most of the afternoon.
According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Bosa failed to register a sack, a tackle for loss, or even a QB hit. He goes on to say that was only the ninth such instance in Bosa’s NFL career.
Now, Steele wasn’t perfect. He did allow three QB pressures on the afternoon. What’s more, he benefitted from playing next to perennial All-Pro right guard Zach Martin. Additionally, the Cowboys’ game plan was run-heavy as Dallas threw the ball only 27 times while running it 31.
But Steele was a huge part of the last-second victory that saw kicker Greg Zuerlein boot a 56-yard FG to win the game as time expired. And if we are going to note that the Dallas passing attack was upstaged by the ground game, we have to give Steele credit for being part of an offensive line that paved the way for a huge day for the Dallas running backs.
For the game, Steele and his fellow linemen helped open up holes that allowed Dallas to run for 198 yards and two touchdowns. That included 109 yards for Tony Pollard who averaged 8.4 yards per carry and who found the endzone as well.
But back to Steele, stepping up in a pinch is nothing new for him. Having to be the next man up on Sunday because Dallas’ starting right tackle, La’el Collins, has been suspended for five games for a substance abuse violation, Steele made his 15 career start after being an undrafted free agent who signed with Dallas in the 2020 offseason.
Steele was never expected to play so much right away. But last year, he was tossed into the fire when Collins failed to play a single snap for Dallas due to a preseason hip injury.
While the going wasn’t always smooth during Steele’s rookie season, he made strides as the year progressed and he finished with 14 invaluable starts to help him get his NFL sea legs. But this year, he was expected to assume a backup role for Dallas with Collins returning to full health.
However, Dallas needs Steele to once again step up in Collins’ absence and that’s exactly what he did on Sunday while squaring off with one of the most feared sack artists in the game. Steele will likely make four more starts for the Cowboys in Collins’ place and if what we saw on Sunday is any indication, the former Red Raider is more than up to the task.