One common factor among all the teams that made the playoffs, aside from the Green Bay Packers, has been the play of the offensive line.
Just watching quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Collin Kaepernick stand back there with all the time in the world to throw the ball as a Dallas Cowboys fan makes me, well…jealous.
The philosophy of protecting the quarterback on offense and getting to the quarterback on defense, has withstood the test of time, and it hasn’t been any different this season. Yet for some reason, those two items seem to be last on Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones’ agenda.
To help solidify the offensive line in 2012, Jones went out and found himself two offensive guards in Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings; however, that was a failure. In 2013, I’m hopeful that after watching his quarterback run for his life on just about every play, and the worst rushing performance in team history, at least fixing the offensive line will become a priority.
To help fix that problem, I propose the Cowboys go offensive line with at least their first two draft picks in the 2013 NFL draft. One of the players the players I recommend the Cowboys select is University of Alabama center Barrett Jones.
Jones, a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC selection at right-guard, left tackle and center was the heart of the Crimson Tide’s punishing offensive line, which helped Alabama rush for an average of 227.5 yards per game this season. He also earned the 2012 Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. If those credentials don’t make the Cowboys value selecting Jones, I don’t know what will.
At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds Jones has the size necessary to be successful at the pro-level and could be a crucial part of the Cowboys offense for years to come, whether at center or guard. There are other players in the draft that the Cowboys could target to help build a strong offensive line, but I truly believe Jones is a special player.
After his dominant performance in the BCS Championship game, I would not be surprised if Jones is a first round selection.