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Well Guarded? Cowboys meet with IOL prospect O’Cyrus Torrence at combine

The Dallas Cowboys, like all 32 NFL teams, are doing their due diligence at the scouting combine this week in Indinapolis. While many fan’s eyes remain focused on the drills and testing, those results will stand the test of time. The more vital things happening when it comes to the 2023 NFL draft are the medical checks and the team interviews. Those give each squad a direct line of sight into the subjective nature of evaluating a prospect.

As such, fans should pay close attention to which prospects have formal meetings with their clubs. Almost all teams and players have some level of informal conversations, but a formal meeting shows heavy interest. The Dallas Cowboys have said heavy interest in Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence.

The Cowboys current left guard, Connor McGovern, is an unrestricted free agent. Dallas planned to play last year’s first rounder, Tyler Smith, inside at guard in 2022 until a late camp injury to left tackle Tyron Smith changed those plans. Smith enters 2023 in the final year of his contract with a $13 million price tag, muddying the waters who what Dallas plans to do, especially with right tackle and RFA Terence Steele nursing a late-season ACL injury.

Torrence would give Dallas their second go round of high-pedigree drafted linemen following the team’s investments in Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin in the first half of last decade. Pairing him with Tyler Smith for years to come to protect Dak Prescott.

Some expect Torrence to be the first guard off the board in April’s draft, but others aren’t too sure he’s a pro-ready prospect. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranks him No. 28 overall in his pre-combine Top 100.

Considered a potential first-round pick last year, O’Cyrus Torrence didn’t necessarily need to transfer to Florida. He wanted to prove himself against SEC competition, though, and that is exactly what he did with an impressive 2022 season. Torrence has the play strength and competitive appetite to be a plug-and-play starting guard.

Meanwhile The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez sees him disappointing on such lofty expections, calling Torrence a fourth-round talent.

There are also issues with Torrence in pass protection. It appears he lacks the quickness to be a quick reactor to twists and stunts and effectively pick them up. Torrence also fails to consistently move his feet while engaged. When Torrence is engaged, he will plant his feet in the ground and look to defeat defenders by using his upper-body strength and throwing them to the ground—this could lead to holding penalties. When defenders attack Torrence’s edges, his lack of lateral agility shows and could lead to him giving up pressures or committing holding penalties.

This is nothing new in draft circles; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What the Cowboys think of him, along with the teams picking in front of them, is really all that matters.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire