Dallas Cowboys seem to have the Jekyll and Hyde of offensive lines
By Matt Aaron
Why has the Cowboys’ run blocking been so poor?
It looks like center Travis Frederick hasn’t fully recovered from his bout of Guillain-Barré syndrome that sidelined him all season last year. Left guard Connor Williams hasn’t been great either. PFF gives him an overall grade of 59.4 for his play this year.
For comparison’s sake, PFF grades All-Pro right guard Zack Martin at 86.7, one of the best in the league. It’s a big difference.
Williams was out with a knee injury Sunday. He’s had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will be out for at least a few more weeks. But reserve guard Xavier Su’a-Filo didn’t look any better.
And yet, despite their deficiencies in run blocking, Dallas’ offensive line has been terrific in pass protection. In the last two games, against Minnesota and Detroit, Prescott was only sacked once per game.
Against the Lions, Dak seemed to have forever to go through his reads and make throws. In fact, after the game, Prescott commented that on some plays he had time to go through his progressions twice in order to find the open man.
But again, Zeke was stuffed in both games for near career lows in running yardage. It seems like it’s been like that all season. Great pass blocking, but not-so-great run blocking. Dallas seems to have the Jekyll and Hyde of offensive lines.
It’s a dynamic that the statisticians have had a tough time capturing. A few weeks ago, Pro Football Focus rated the Cowboys offensive line fourth overall in the NFL.
That’s an elite rating. But does anyone think that the Cowboys’ run blocking has been elite? I don’t. (In fact, that was the subject of my column last week.)