Darrion Weems is the top internal candidate to win the swing tackle job, and the Dallas Cowboys are giving him an extended look.
Weems, who has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game, started and played the entire game at left tackle with Tyron Smith nursing a biceps injury. What was Weems initial assessment of his game?
“It was all right,” Weems said. “That was the first time I played in a competitive situation like that in almost two years, so there was some rust I had to knock off. I felt all right the first time out.”
Weems, 26, missed all of last season after undergoing left shoulder surgery, and hadn’t seen game action since playing in the Cowboys’ final preseason game of the 2013 season.
The Cowboys feel more comfortable with Weems at right tackle even though he started 14 games at left tackle for Oregon in 2011. And he showed he still has room to improve at left tackle.
Weems was beat for a sack by Chargers linebacker Kyle Emanuel in the second quarter, and called for holding late in the second half. Weems understands there is plenty to work on going forward if he wants to win the swing tackle job.
But it also proved to be a good, early measuring stick for the Cowboys coaching staff to see how far Weems has come, and if he’ll be able to handle the swing tackle duties.
“We wanted him to be out there a lot against the good guys, see how he responded,” coach Jason Garrett said. “I think he gave up one pressure early on in the game, but again that’s a situation you want to put a guy like Weems in. Get him against the good rushers, get him into passing situations, make it hard on him and see how he responds.
“I think for the most part he did OK. We’ll get back and watch the tape.”