Dallas Cowboys Dominate The NFC East Ultimate Offensive Team

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Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA;

Dallas Cowboys tackle Jermey Parnell (78) and guard Zack Martin (70) and center Travis Frederick (72) and guard Ronald Leary (65) and tackle Tyron Smith (77) on the field before the game against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat Detroit 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Mathis, Philadelphia Eagles

The Cowboys have the much touted best o-line in the league, but were youth on their side then the Eagles would definitely challenge. Evan Mathis had an irrelevant career until he landed in Philadelphia in 2011. Since then he’s been a vital cog in their play.

Injury limited his game time to just 9 games in 2014 but he carried through his 2013 Pro Bowl performances. Inconsistency hit teams and players throughout the division last season, but Mathis didn’t really have a bad game, allowing just two hits and two sacks on Mark Sanchez.

At 33 years old he’s certainly in the twilight stage of his career. Nevertheless, he’s capable of assisting DeMarco Murray in big yards in his first year as an Eagle.

Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys

The starting left tackles in the NFC East are easily the strongest group league wide. While I’ve opted for Tyron Smith, Jason Peters certainly runs him a close second. In fact, were I to pick the team based on 2014’s performances alone then the pendulum would’ve swung in Peters favour.

A phenomenal game against the Seattle Seahawks saw Smith named Offensive Player of the Week; the first Offensive Lineman to get the accolade in ten years. His blocking in that game carved open lanes for the running backs and vitally kept Tony Romo upright.

But it was his two battles against Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul that were my favourite. While it’s easy to dominate against inferior opponents, that wasn’t the case here. These are two men arguably considered one of the best at their positions. While JPP seemed to win the battle, Smith ultimately won the war.

Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys

The boring “un-sexy” first round draft picks for the Cowboys in recent seasons have resulted in the team finally challenging again. And it seems that the Giants and Redskins have taken not, with both opting to draft offensive linemen with their first picks in the 2015 draft.

Travis Frederick was deemed a reach before he’d even pulled on a Cowboys jersey. Fast forward two years and he’s one of the leagues best. While 2014 maybe wasn’t as dazzling has his rookie season and his pass blocking needs improving, his run blocking work alongside Zack Martin was near flawless.

Hat tipped to Kory Lichtensteiger at the Redskins however. With vastly inferior team mates to Frederick he was one of the few areas of reliability for the 4-12 side. RGIII will want fellow lineman to follow the center’s form.

Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys

Zack Martin should not just be considered as a rookie of the year candidate. In my opinion he was one of the leagues best players period. It’s rare that a rookie o-lineman contributes to such a vast improvement, but he did just that. Whether he was restricting defenseman getting to Romo or bulldozing holes for Murray to run through he was equally effective.

One of my favourite moments of the season wasn’t an athletic catch by Dez, a crunching tackle by Rolando McClain or Romo Romo-ing. It was Zack Martin sprinting up the field to make a final block to allow Murray into the end zone. Who said fat kids can’t run?

Martin doesn’t have a single sack attributed to his name despite losing the experienced figure of Doug Free for several games. It’s difficult to think of areas Martin could improve in and I’d argue he’s currently the best player on the Cowboys entire roster.

Doug Free, Dallas Cowboys

The options at right tackle aren’t quite as enthralling as those on the left side. Again it was between a Cowboy or an Eagle with Lane Johnson having a good 2014. It was Johnson’s awful 2013 rookie year that gave the vote to Doug Free though.

For so long Free was the Cowboys player everyone loved to hate. While that accolade now lies firmly at Brandon Carr‘s door, Free is finally getting some appreciation. Smith, Frederick and Martin tend to get the headlines but they always look to acknowledge Free.

Despite being 31 years old, the Cowboys still agreed to a new three year contract for their right tackle which is just reward for a man who had to work hard to prove his worth. An influence in all the right ways both on the field and in the locker room, Free may not always win on talent but he’s made that right tackle spot his own.

So there’s my dream team offense for the NFC East. The Cowboys dominate with 7 players, the Eagles have 3, Giants 1 while the Redskins haven’t a single person feature. Next week I’m going to look at the defensive players. Can the Cowboys dominate again? Let me know what you think!

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