Cowboys’ O-line Key to Chiefs


Remember last year when the Dallas Cowboys came away from a Week 1 game against the reigning Super Bowl champions with a win? Hopes were high as then defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s defense had played well enough to keep the Giant’s attack at bay. At the same time, the Cowboys’ offense line mustered enough protection to let Tony Romo and company get the better of New York’s defense.

And then the bottom fell out in Week 2.

A trip to Seattle proved costly for the Cowboys, as they were dominated in all three phases of the game on route to a 27-7 defeat.

This year’s Week 2 match-up has an eerily familiar feeling going into Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City is coming off an impressive win against an unimpressive team. Their defense held Jacksonville to a measly 178 yards of offense and their only score of the game came on a safety. Oh, and the Chief’s defense sacked Jaguars’ quarterback Blain Gabbert six times and intercepted two of his passes. You can see where the concern can come from.

In order to combat the Chiefs’ stingy defense, Dallas’ offensive line is going to need to be in top form. That is something that is hard to come up with in just one short week.

Sep 8, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick (72) blocks against New York Giants defensive tackle Mike Patterson (93) at AT

Sure, the big boys up front played pretty well Sunday night, considering they had two of the five members making their first NFL starts of their young careers. Center Travis Frederick and left guard Ronald Leary proved to be a decent combo in their first real outing. As always there is room for improvement. Not just from the youngsters, but right tackle Doug Free, Left Tackle Tyron Smith, and right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau; the three other, more seasoned linemen. None of us will forget the panic that came over us when Romo lay on the turf after getting sandwiched by two Giant defenders. If this train is going to stay on track, Romo needs to stay upright and defenders can’t get a clean shot at him. This goal begins again Sunday in Kansas City.

Of course we can’t forget the addition of free agent guard Brian Waters to the mix. After a week of practice, he looks to make an impact against a team he played for for so many years. Can he be an instant impact along the line, or will he take some time getting back into the groove of things after missing the entire 2012 season? He’ll definitely be an upgrade over Bernadeau, but will Romo have to spend Sunday making due while he waits for the Waters of old to help lock down the right side? Only time will tell.

Things to note: Running back Lance Dunbar will make his season debut Sunday against the Chiefs. DeMarco Murray took all but one of the carries last week so look for Dunbar to give Romo another impact piece to a offense that struggled at times against the Giants – Anthony Spencer is also slated to make his season debut, but he will most likely be a rotational player as he eases in to the season after having his knee scoped – After a shaky start, third-string receiver Terence Williams still has a hold of his spot, but an opportunistic Dwayne Harris waits in the wings. If Williams can improve on his two catch performance, and limit the mental errors, he will be a much better option than Harris.