Will the Dallas Cowboys ever get their offensive line back?

Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

It has been 675 days since the Dallas Cowboys made Mike McCarthy their head coach and one thing has never happened during his tenure. He has not had his projected starting offensive line play together as a unit. Injuries have been a problem lately.

That means 24 games or about a season and a half, (thanks 17 game schedule), of not having a full complement of starters on your line.

You might be scratching your head at that fact but it is true. Left Tackle Tyron Smith can change all of that this weekend but it appears as if his return will be put off for another week. Smith’s health has been a concern but left guard Connor Williams has been on the opposite side of the spectrum as he has never missed a game McCarthy has coached for this team.

Center Tyler Biadasz has been better as of late individually but this line has had its problems. Right guard Zack Martin missed the week one contest because of Covid meaning he did not get to play when both bookends played against Tampa this season in week one. Now that right tackle La’el Collins has assumingly reclaimed his right tackle spot, Dallas fans could soon get a glimpse of what a healthy offensive line could look like.

Health has been an ongoing issue on the Dallas Cowboys offensive line

It probably won’t be this week so fans have to hope Tyron can return to health next week and the rest of the offensive line stays healthy and Covid free heading to Kansas City next week. Even though it has never happened, the Cowboys can get a huge boost by having their starters all play together.

A healthy Dallas offensive line going up against a Kansas City defense that has had problems this season could be a part of the reason Dallas opts to keep Tyron inactive. Of course, his injury has to cooperate too. I wonder how potent this offense could be if Dak Prescott dropped back and his offensive line didn’t need an offensive skill player to stay in and help chip or block?

Even with all of these offensive line issues, the Cowboys are dealing with, there are some surprising statistics about this group. There have been some rumblings about the Cowboys playing the best five offensive linemen and just going with that.

For a multitude of reasons which somehow shockingly includes bribery, the Cowboys’ offensive line as a unit has been better than good. Even though the criticism this line has taken about individual play, Pro Football Focus or PFF, which is now apparently the barometer every stats geek uses to evaluate talent, has ranked the Cowboys’ offensive line the best in the NFL.

I guess when things are going mostly right, some people need to create headlines as opposed to enjoying their success. I will say that PFF grades can sometimes be misleading so take the information with a grain of salt.

This group mostly benefits from having two players grading near the top of the league which probably helps overall team rankings. With that PFF line ranking, it appears as if the Cowboys are the only team in the NFL with two linemen with a 90 plus PFF grade in Martin and Smith.

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That also means that no matter who has played in this musical chairs line game, offensive line coach Joe Philbin has shown that he has a talent for developing and preparing linemen for duty. I am hopeful that the starting group can come together and gel soon but I would be going up against recent history that has said it’s not likely. As we hold out hope this line can get healthy, time is running out.