Now, let us finally move on to the crux of my issues with our current Dallas Cowboys, the Offensive Line. If anyone out there would take the current Offensive line over the great OL of the 1990s that person is a complete and utter stupid idiot and there is no hope for that person. Phil Costa over Ray Donaldson or Mark Stepnoski? Not on Phil’s best day. Nate Livings over Nate Newton? I’m sorry, I’m going with the guy we called Big Nate. Doug Free over Erik Williams? I threw up in my mouth just thinking about that. Uh, hell no. Tyron Smith over Mark Tuinei? Maybe one day, but not right now. He has the potential to surpass Tui, but he is not there yet. Mackenzy Bernadeau over Larry Allen? Are you out of your ever loving mind? Bernadeau couldn’t carry Larry Allen’s jock on Larry’s worst day. In short, give me Aikman’s O-line all day long, every year.
In fact, a good friend of mine from a Cowboys forum, who posts under the pseudonym percyhoward, shared with me some interesting information. He’s one of the best stats guys alive. The average rank of Aikman’s Defenses was 3rd. Romo’s have been 14th. The average rank in rushing Offense was 3rd in the Aikman years, 15th for the Romo years. Aikman’s O-line had 9 total All Pro seasons. Romo’s lines have had 1. It is really quite a wonder that Romo’s QB Rating is one of the highest in NFL History.
So let’s recap. Aikman was a better QB, had better weapons, a better rushing attack, a better Defense, and a better Offensive Line? And we want equal results from Tony Romo when nothing he has is as good as that? Hell yes we do, and rightfully so. We’re the damned Dallas Cowboys, not the Cincinnati Bengals or the Minnesota Vikings. We either have Championships, or it just isn’t good enough, and that is the way it is supposed to be in Dallas.
I can accept the expectations, what I really don’t get is why some are puzzled we don’t have the same results? Seriously? The reason is simple, we’re not there yet and we haven’t been there in the last sixteen years. I don’t want to hear about constants in those sixteen years and only one playoff win, some of those seasons we still had four legitimate Hall of Fame players on Offense and some damned good Defensive players as well. We had guys who could help us today in huge ways like Darren Woodson, and Nate Newton. The thing is, we had a large chunk of those core players in 1989 and 1990 too, but not the results.
I hope that last comment sank in real good. What changed in 1991 and on through to 1995 at least and probably to 1996 and beyond despite the poor post season results? I’ll tell you exactly what changed. Good Drafting, good coaching, higher expectations on the team, and chemistry. Troy’s O-line wasn’t a plethora of first round talent. Emmitt wasn’t rushing behind blue chip guys. It was five guys who knew how to play together and just beat the holy hell out of everyone placed in front of them.