We’ve all seen the numbers on the Dallas Cowboys running game and they aren’t good. So while there is plenty of talk about the defense and their ability to switch to the 4-3, and among all the discussions about Tony Romo being good enough to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, what really needs fixing for the Cowboys may be going overlooked, their offensive line.
The Cowboys offensive line problems have been apparent for the past few years and while the team has tried to fix it, now is the time to finally do it right. Drafting Tyron Smith two years ago was a start, but you can’t just draft a tackle and think you’re done with the process of solidifying your line. The tradition of selecting offensive linemen late in the draft and not developing them has to stop. The Cowboys have tried that in Bill Nagy, who was cut because on injuries despite his potential, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what they’re doing with fourth round draft pick David Arkin.
Dallas also needs to stop signing low level players to play on the offensive line and hope that it works out. Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings were overpaid last off-season and didn’t improve the Cowboys in the trenches. They missed out on signing an elite guard or center last year, which was a big mistake and the Cowboys paid for it once again with sub-par play at all three interior line positions this season.
If the Cowboys are serious about signing Romo to a new contract and riding his right arm for the next five years, they have to help him out and draft a few quality offensive linemen in the upcoming draft in April. There should be no less than three offensive linemen picked, one at each position. The best way to get the most out of your quarterback is to protect him and the Cowboys have failed to do that the past few years.
Yes, the NFL is a passing league right now, but it’s always been a physical game and the Cowboys constantly lost that battle up front on offense. The Cowboys rushing attack ranked 31st in the league and that is simply not good enough to win consistently in the NFL. The New York Giants won last year with a 32nd ranked rushing attack, but they were above average in other areas to balance it out. The Cowboys haven’t been good enough in other facets of their team to make up for their lack of a running game.
The sad part is the Cowboys have the running back to be successful in DeMarco Murray, but he needs to find some holes to run through. Until the Cowboys get serious about significantly upgrading their offense live, this offense will struggle no matter who calls the plays. So you can talk about the defense and what alignment works best for the Cowboys all you want, none of that matters as much as improving the Cowboys’ offensive line.
It’s very simple for the Dallas Cowboys. If they want to win and make their offense ‘Romo friendly,’ there’s nothing friendlier than protecting your quarterback. Do that, and the Cowboys have a chance to play winning football. Failing to rebuild their offensive line would mean more of the same for the Cowboys next year.
We’ve seen those results, and they’re not good.
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