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

Offensive Line Must Save Cowboys' Running Game

They are finally thinking the right way. The Dallas Cowboys actually might know what they are doing with this team, especially on offense. No, it has nothing to do with stars like quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant. I am talking about the attention and focus the front-office trio of Owner Jerry Jones, Executive Vice President Stephen Jones and player personnel guru Will McClay are giving the offensive line. Quietly, the Cowboys have transformed one of their biggest weaknesses into one of their biggest weapons.

As you know by now, the Cowboys extended pro-bowl tackle Tyron Smith to a mega-blockbuster deal worth about $110 million dollars. The contract length is 10 years, which means the Cowboys have a lot of faith going into Smith and this offensive line. Add in back-to-back first round picks guard Zach Martin and Center Travis Frederick, you have a young and talented offensive line. While the game has changed a lot over the years, having great protection up front has always been the key to successful teams.

While the Cowboys should get credit for getting better, they should also be criticized for not properly using the line to the best of their abilities. Last year, plenty of times I was screaming for head coach Jason Garrett to run the ball more, you have lineman who are mauling defensive lines and creating holes that Moses could cross. The times that running back Demarco Murray would get a run play, he would deliver, in large thanks to his teammates on the offensive line. Yet, the Cowboys were ranked 31st in rushing attempts.

There are so many obvious reasons for this offense to run the ball more in 2014. The most obvious reason is to protect Romo from getting hit hard. While the line could help protect the 34-year-old quarterback during passing plays, it makes much more sense to run the ball more. It is a much better scenario that you gain five or six yards and your quarterback isn’t getting killed inside the pocket. Also, this team’s defense is still pretty awful, so let them stay off the field as long as possible. The third most obvious reason is that it WORKS!

So congratulations to the Cowboys for creating one of the best offensive lines in the National Football League. Hopefully they know how to use it this year.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Jerry Jones Tony Rpmo Tyron Smith

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