The Dallas Cowboys looked like their old selves Thursday night with a dominant performance by their offensive line in a must win over the Redskins.
The Dallas Cowboys put an end to their ugly three-game winning streak with a statement win against the Washington Redskins, 38-14.
While the Cowboys made some lineup changes on defense that surely impacted the game, the gameplay itself was no different from what the Cowboys have been doing for the past several seasons– run the ball effectively and control the clock with a lead.
What truly separated this game from the past three, however, was the Cowboys offensive line and their return to dominance. The front five finally appeared fully healthy, for the first time in several weeks. Tyron Smith was back to his All-Pro self after he missed two games with a back injury and looked rusty upon his Thanksgiving return.
Zack Martin, who left last week’s game against the Chargers with a head injury, was back in the lineup and played arguably his best game of the season. He was routinely opening holes for Alfred Morris that Jerry Jones himself could have averaged five yards a carry behind.
Getting the run game back on track was the number one priority for the Cowboys after their recent slump, and the gameplan certainly worked. Morris routinely gashed his former team for solid gains, decisively running behind the Cowboys’ seemingly unstoppable zone blocking scheme.
While the offensive line certainly did their job in the run game, they also managed to keep Dak Prescott upright for most of the game. The unit only gave up one sack over the course of the game after giving up 14 the following three weeks. This proved especially crucial after Prescott injured his throwing hand, and was somewhat limited in his throwing actions.
So the offensive line got their mojo back, and as a result, so did the Cowboys. In order for Dallas to sneak into the playoffs they’re going to need their line to continue to be the engine of their football team, and be the deciding factor in wins going forward.