Due to the disaster that was the Dallas Cowboys’ left tackle situation last Sunday, it’s hard for fans to have much confidence in this offensive line against the Eagles.
After all, the Eagles defensive line is one of the best units in the league. The fact that players like Chris Long and Derek Barnett serve as backups on this defensive line says all you need to know about its overall quality.
It’s also becoming clear that All Pro tackle Tyron Smith will miss Sunday’s game with the Eagles, forcing Byron Bell to make his first start as a Cowboy. Bell has a lot of starting experience for someone delegated to the bench, but there’s a reason he was sitting behind Chaz Green going into last week’s game.
So, I get it. Why should you have confidence this offensive line will play any better than they did a week ago? And why should anyone have hope for this offense against what many feel is the best team in the NFC?
The one answer I can come up with, is preparation.
Cowboys Nation killed the coaching staff after last week’s loss, pointing to the lack of help given to Chaz Green in pass protection as the main reason for the brutal loss. Giving up six sacks to a single defensive end, neither Green nor Bell stood much of a chance when working one on one.
But it isn’t all that easy to change your game plan in the middle of the game, no matter how brutal one player is performing. The odds are that Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan had too much faith in Green because of the way he played during Smith’s absence in 2016. They thought he would be fine at tackle, as did most fans. Because of this they kept much of their offensive schemes the same, leaving Green out there to get eaten alive.
Whether you agree or disagree with their game plan, there’s no doubt this week will be different.
This time around the Cowboys have a full week of practice to prepare for shaky tackle play, which should help their pass protection scheme against Philadelphia. Of course, it won’t be nearly as perfect as we have seen when Tyron Smith is at full health, but it should look better than what we saw against the Falcons.