Oct 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick (72) guard Ronald Leary (65) and offensive tackle Tyron Smith (77) look to block during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Have The Cowboys O-Line Reinforcements Come Too Late?

The Dallas Cowboys had to change their ways, and in particular owner and general manager Jerry Jones. For too long Jones would chase after that one mystical piece that would catapult the Cowboys back to contention and Super Bowl glory, when there were so many glaring needs in critical positions. This happened relentlessly for years while said critical pieces, like the offensive line deteriorated from age and lack of talent.

Fast forward to today. Three of the five projected starters are first-round picks with huge upside and tons of talent. The first of the three was Tyron Smith, taken ninth overall in the 2011 draft and has the critical left tackle position locked down for years to come. Next came center Travis Frederick, drafted 31st overall. His presence last year was a breath of fresh air, as he handled the position admirably and his needle is pointing directly up. Finally, this year Dallas took guard/tackle Zack Martin with the 16th overall pick. If he’s anything like he was in college, he’ll be steady and productive start after start. It’s looking like someone on the front office has finally seen the light.

That’s a lot of high picks on the offensive line, and yet have they gone to waste?

Quarterback Tony Romo is getting up there in age. He has a multitude of question marks moving forward, the biggest of which is can he settle down and play within the offense, or do we need to get accustomed to late game/season implosions? It doesn’t help his case that he’s been bitten by the injury bug far too many times. The offense runs through the quarterback, as we all know. Nothing happens if Romo is not upright and producing, and almost all of his recent injuries has been due to poor o-line play. The toll it takes to go through injuries like a herniated back disc and punctured lung is huge. Do you think Romo can be the player Dallas needs, or has the neglect that had come to the line over the years limited how long he can be effective in this league.

What it boils down to is the Cowboys should have been spending high picks on the offensive line years ago. The whole line doesn’t need to be first-round picks, but they finally realized they can’t survive on questionable talent if they want to win anything in the NFL. This current line has the make-up of the glory days, but the signal-caller may not have what it takes to keep pushing on. Romo is the best thing at quarterback that has happened to Dallas since Troy Aikman, but Jones and company may have wasted his best years by not building the team from the inside out. The way a team is suppose to be built.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo Travis Frederick Tyron Smith Zack Martin

  • Chad

    Better late than never. Even if Romo does go down, whoever our QB is for the next 5-10 years shouldn’t have to run for his life as long as we add another piece or two and they all stay healthy.

  • Raymond Tippett

    I agree to a point! for 1 I believe that room isn’t in the twilight of his career, if anything he is right where he supposed to be. sure he is getting older but arnt we all? there has been a lot of stupidity in the war room in the past but for the last three years it has improved dramatically. it is never to late to get youth for your team and thanks to Jason jerry is seeing that now. I mean look at Elway look how long It took him to get a ring, whos to say with all the first round picks we got in the o line and the youth were getting on the other side whos to say were not there now. im not saying were superbowl bound but I think were in better shape this year then we have been in a long time.

  • SmartThinking

    Too late for what, Steven? The odds are pretty good that this 60% improved O line is too late to help Romo win a SB this season. Personally, I’d be significantly impressed if this team beats Philadelphia and wins the NFC East. That’d be a major accomplishment. And if it’s to be done, then this much improved O line will be the group that makes that happen.

    My problem isn’t with all the first round O line additions. I think we ought to complete the set in the next two drafts. They’ve been needed on this team for a decade.

    My concern is that no matter how much better this offense plays and no matter how many points all these offensive weapons put up and no matter how many holes the line opens for Murray to run for 1,500 or 1,800 yards, for all the spectacle and excitement they’ll deliver, this porous, pitiful defense is going to give it all back plus points every game.

    The Denver game last season is the template for what I see game after game this upcoming season for Dallas. Lots of offensive scoring and big plays followed by a soul crushing defeat because the defense couldn’t protect the lead.

    I can only hope that someone in the Dallas Cowboys management has seen the light and is building for the future, whether they’ll admit it or not. Because, until both sides of the Dallas football have players who play like there’s no tomorrow, we’re going to have nothing but Denver defeats to carp about week after week this next season.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    It takes a while for offensive lines to play together in harmony. The same line that Aikman had during the Superbowl years struggled at the beginning. Result: Jerry Jones woke up too late for players like Romo and Witten. The defense will probably once again finish at the bottom of the NFL and keeping Ware will not have avoided that.