Cowboys Offensive Line – Time To Believe
It’s time for Jason Garrett to start believing in the Cowboys offensive line. For years Garrett has choked down the Cowboys offense to compensate for the sieve that Dallas fans have come to recognize as pass protection. Lack of a consistent running game, a missing zeal for attacking down field via the long ball and a focus on minimizing punishment to the QB have dominated play calling strategy in recent years. Many would like to point a finger and blame, yet you work with what you have. Garrett is no different and he made decisions based on a long term view. Acceptable reasoning, but it’s time to let the dogs loose.
The greatness of Tony Romo (escape-ability) is a skill that was refined in the Fran Tarkenton tradition. Fran tells the story of how “look out blockers” led to his scrambling ability. After they missed a block the linemen would turn and yell “look out!!” and Fran took off. The Romo patented (or is it trademarked?) spin move just as pressure gets to him along with his incredible toughness were brought to their ultimate levels through necessity as well. This is not really news, but does setup the environment for 2014.
In 2014 the Cowboys took another big step in the rebuilding of their offensive line. Drafting Zack Martin in the first round to pair with fellow first round selections Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick puts the Cowboys in a very strong position even with a(nother) projected rookie starter in 2014. This group is young and complimented by a rare level of coaching. The offensive line should be a strength for the Dallas Cowboys for years to come.
All of this comes together in the capable hands of Scott Linehan. He should not have the “gun shy” effect from the previous years that seem to have affected Garrett’s recent play calling. Linehan knows he has an incredible offensive line and is in possession of an offensive history to compliment it. Linehan piles up yards on the ground and through the air. His offense plays quicker than most and he excels at getting players the ball in space. This plays to the strength of this athletic group of talented linemen who excel at getting to the second level. This should free up the Cowboys offense to “be all it can be” to coin the popular phrase.
Tthe Cowboys defense will be better this year. How much better will have a lot to do with the positions the 2014 offense puts them in. Can Dallas run the ball late in games? Can they score quickly, forcing teams into obvious passing situations? Can they protect Romo when the heat comes? I believe one answer is viable for all of these questions, a resounding yes. The defense, with the loss of Sean Lee, Ware and Hatcher will have it’s issues. The offense on the other hands should be stepping up it’s game.
What say you Cowboys Nation?
Another Left Coast Cowboys Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over