Yes, we all know the franchise history by now of selecting first round offensive linemen. Only one first round guard (John Niland – 1966). Only one first round center (Robert Shaw – 1979). Only two first round tackles and only one under Jerry Jones’ watch (Howard Richards – 1981 and of course Tyron Smith – 2011).
For one reason or another, this franchise has not valued offensive big men enough to justify spending a first round pick on them. Well mark THIS Dallas Cowboys fan down as voting for this trend to change. Our offensive line has been rapidly deteriorating in terms of production and talent the past three seasons. Make no mistake; this deterioration process has been the result of numerous things…
Allowing younger players to take over as a starter before they were completely ready comes to mind, keeping older guys around too long and not having capable replacements when you finally do decide to dump them, perhaps even releasing a five-time Pro Bowl center a season too early, going lazy and rather cheap in veteran free agency to find two starting guards, and not drafting quality offensive linemen consistently have ALL accelerated the deterioration process.
Bottom line is this folks; offensive line must get SIGNIFICANTLY better if Jerry, Stephen and Jason REALLY want to MAXIMIZE the remaining years Tony Romo and Co. have left. If you pay your franchise quarterback nearly $120 million, the VERY least you can do is keep his jersey clean (Romo has been sacked 72 times the last two seasons). Yes, 72 is correct.
Three seasons now we have suffered through inadequate offensive line play and this has been one of the leading reasons we have watched the playoffs from the couch the last three seasons as well. Mere coincidence? I think NOT!
And don’t think the running game has escaped the futility of our porous offensive line the past three seasons either. It’s not just Tony Romo that suffers. From 2010-2012 (that’s three total seasons if you are scoring at home-ALL no playoffs mind you) our TEAM running game has TOTALED 23 rushing touchdowns (only 13 the past TWO seasons and Romo accounting for two of those) for 4, 858 yards, with a 16-game low last season of only 1, 265 total rushing yards (31st ranked rushing offense in 2012).
Also we have not had a running back top 900 yards the past three seasons and 1,000 yards the past six seasons.
Does everyone know the “Mickey Spagnola stat?” If not, allow me to enlighten you. In the history of Dallas Cowboys football, (as in 53 seasons) we have NEVER EVER… had a winning record when we have failed to eclipse ten rushing touchdowns as a TEAM. NEVER!
I will be generous and allow you time to gag!
You think Tony Romo needs help? (Remember 72 sacks the last two seasons alone) You think Murray and Co. could use some help (aside from staying on the field for 16 games)? You think our overall offense and especially Jason Garrett could get some much needed love?
Enter the offensive line and the 18th overall pick tomorrow night.