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.