Dallas Cowboys seem to have the Jekyll and Hyde of offensive lines
By Matt Aaron
The Dallas Cowboys offensive line has been excellent in pass blocking, resulting in a superior air attack, But what happened to their running game?
Watching the Dallas Cowboys play this year has been an exercise in whiplash at times. One week, they’re great. The next week, not so much. That’s football though. Like Forrest Gump with his box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. That’s why we watch.
But this truism has been particularly appropriate with the Cowboys offensive line and running game this year. A few weeks ago against the New York Giants, the offensive line looked great and Ezekiel Elliott ran for 139 yards.
Elliott told CBS Sports after the game that it the easiest 140 yards he’d ever gained. Since then, however, Zeke’s running output has been downright anemic.
Elliott ran for 47 yards against the Minnesota Vikings, averaging only 2.4 yards a carry. Against the Detroit Lions, the NFL two-time leading rusher ran for only 45 yards and a 2.8 yard per carry average.
Pathetic numbers, I think we can all agree, no matter how big a fan of Elliott’s one is. Many have said that Elliott is just not the same runner he’s been in prior years, and it’s hard to argue with that.
His numbers are down across the board: net yards, yards per carry, number of splash plays. They’ve all sunk. But the ball carrier is not the only factor in the running game.
The offensive line is a big part of it too. And against the better teams this year, the Cowboys’ offensive line hasn’t been getting much of a push off the ball. They haven’t exactly been throwing the opposing defensive lines around, or knocking them to the ground, as they have in years past.