Dallas Cowboys Building A Future One Line At A Time


The Dallas Cowboys seem to be headed in the right direction. And it looks as if they are starting to build something special in Big D.

Over the last few seasons, the Cowboys have focused on trying to construct a dominant offensive line. And as things stand now, they could not only have one of the youngest offensive lines in the NFL, but also the most talented. Many of the Dallas lineman are arguably the top players at their respective positions.

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It all started when new Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett decided to draft left tackle Tyron Smith with the team’s ninth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith was drafted to protect quarterback Tony Romo’s blind side.  He has also developed into one of the top left tackles in the entire league.

The trend of drafting offensive linemen in the first round continued when the Cowboys selected center Travis Frederick in 2013 with the 31st overall pick. At the time, many analysts and fans alike questioned the pick.

But no one is questioning his selection now. Frederick’s play along the offensive line allows Romo to look down the field for the open receiver without a defensive lineman in his face.

In the 2014 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys dodged a bullet by drafting guard Zack Martin 16th overall out of Notre Dame instead of drafting quarterback Johnny Manziel, a favorite of owner/general manager Jerry Jones. Martin not only stepped in to the starting lineup as a rookie, but made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro as a rookie.

With three first-round picks already in place along the offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys, they could possibly be adding another offensive lineman with legitimate first-round talent as a starter. Tackle/guard La’el Collins possibly had one of the strangest journey to join the Cowboys in the entire history of the NFL.

His story is well documented, but his addition to the Cowboys could become historic. After being passed up in this year’s draft due to being questioned by police after the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Collins found a home in Dallas as likely the most talented undrafted free agent in league history.

Collins’ versatility to play either offensive tackle or offensive guard could help transform the Cowboys already dominant offensive line into something truly scary. It has yet to be determined where Collins will play on the offensive line, or if you will even start.

So far, during organized team activities (OTA’s), Collins has been practicing at the right tackle position in place of injured starter Doug Free, while he recovers from off-season surgery. Collins could possibly compete with Ronald Leary for the starting left guard position, but don’t expect Leary to give up his starting status without a fight.

The OTA’s and training camp will help determine where Collins might fit in one the offensive line or if he can even beat out Free or Leary for a starting spot.

It will be interesting to watch all of these players develop and create a bond with one another. With Smith, Frederick, and Martin each only 24-years old, they should be fixtures along the offensive line for years to come. Add-in Collins at only 21-years of age and the Cowboys could possibly have their offensive line in place for the next decade.

The only question with keeping the offensive line intact for years to come would have to be finding the money to sign them all and still have cap-space.

The importance of keeping the line intact is high as it’s likely to extend Romo’s career. And it could also allow his successor to step into a great situation. Many rookie quarterbacks struggle behind makeshift offensive lines.

It will be fun to watch how this entire situation shakes out, but the Dallas Cowboys offensive line can be scary good in not only 2015, but for years to come.

Now it’s time for the Cowboys to turn their attention to other side of the ball and focus on creating and equally dominant defensive line.

Next: Defensive End Jeremy Mincey Moving Inside Is Nothing New