Dallas was headed into their first Monday night game of the 2010 season at home against the New York Giants with all kinds of questions in regard to their offensive line. The long-forgotten Chris Gronkowski, who just happened to be at the fullback position on this particular play, missed a block on linebacker Michael Boley. Boley drove Tony Romo into the ground, breaking Romo’s clavicle.
Romo missed the rest of the season due to the hit and the Cowboys cratered to a 6-10 disaster of a season. Wade Phillips was fired and Jason Garrett took over.
Fast forward to Week 4 of this season, and the Cowboys are again preparing to play their first Monday night game of the season, in Cowboys Stadium, against the Bears. The questions surrounding the Dallas offensive line are even more intense.
After actually playing well in portions of the season opener against the Giants, the offensive line was OK in a Week 2 loss against the Seattle Seahawks. But last week, in a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the unit was undeniably horrible. False starts were committed with regularity, even though the game was played at home in front of a crowd that seemed like it was watching a performance of a Shakespeare play rather than an NFL game.
On one particular play, Buccaneer defensive lineman Michael Bennett laid a devastating hit on Romo, causing a fumble – it’s amazing Romo didn’t suffer either a broken jaw or a major concussion. He’s been running for his life a good portion of the last three games, and it seems his health is hanging by a thread.
When the Bears roll into town there’s a good chance that thread will snap – and if it does, the Cowboys’ season will very likely be over.
Chicago has sacked the quarterback a league-high 14 times through the first three games, with six against the Rams in Week 3 alone. Julius Peppers and the rest of the Chicago defensive line have to be rubbing their hands together in anticipation.
The Cowboys have a bye in Week 5. There’s a very good chance Kyle Orton will be taking the snaps in Week 6. Oh yeah – that game will be in Baltimore.