I don’t care how much posturing is done, if the Dallas Cowboys want to get to the next level they have to fix the Offensive Line. Don’t give me any platitudes about how good the guys we have are, or can be. Don’t try to sell me that we can get by with them. I don’t want to hear how much better they could have been without injuries. As Jason Garrett himself likes to note, all teams have to overcome injuries. Well, our O-line didn’t do a decent enough job of that, so we paid the price, and people got uncomfortable.
If you go back and look at the History of the Dallas Cowboys, including the Jerry Jones era; when we were a force to be reckoned with it was because we had outstanding Offensive Lines. If we want to once again dominate the NFL, we are going to have to realize that, and fix it.
The cynics out there will tell you that any team can win with great players everywhere. My response to this is, “Duh! That’s what makes them great teams.” You look at the Saints, and our Offense matches up fairly evenly with theirs everywhere, except the Offensive Line. One of our starters would start for them, Tyron Smith at one of the Tackle spots. Any of their starters could start for us. That is what separates them as great. We have to close that gap if we want to be a Championship caliber team.
Going back to the Cowboys first Super Bowl season in 1970 we can see the caliber of the Offensive Line. Starting the season at Left Tackle was Tony Liscio a respected veteran who was always solid. When Liscio went out with an injury Ralph Neely moved from Right Guard to LT. Neely was a two time Pro Bowl caliber player. Replacing Neely at RG was Blaine Nye. He was also a two time Pro Bowl player, and a charter member of The Zero Club. I’ll save that story for another day. Dave Manders anchored the Line at Center. He was very under rated, and is part of the worst officiating call in Super Bowl History. On that play in Miami, Florida, Craig Morton fumbled the ball, Manders recovered it, and the Officials, standing there looking at him holding the ball high, awarded the ball to the Baltimore Colts. John Niland, a six time Pro Bowl honoree was the Left Guard. Finally, rounding out this OL was Right Tackle Rayfield Wright. He’s a Hall of Famer by the way.