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    Cowboys Offensive Line Hurting as Thursday Game Nears

    If you haven't liked the sight of , , or playing offensive line for the Cowboys this year, then yesterday's practice might make you sick. Dallas was without starters Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La'el Collins at Sunday's practice, which is a little scary with a Thursday night game against Washington on the horizon.

    While there are no indications yet that any of these offensive linemen will miss the game, their health issues are still a point of concern. has been sacked 14 times during the Cowboys three-game losing streak. When he's not getting hit, Dak has little time for plays to develop and has been either throwing it away or throwing interceptions far more than we're used to.

    This is a time when the Cowboys should be able to lean on that offensive line and , with or without , to help their young QB stay settled. Instead, it seems like everything has been dumped on Dak for this and he doesn't have the blocking or the receiving options to get it done.

    It's not that the run game has been totally stagnant, either. and have combined for 246 yards on 57 carries; a respectable 4.3 average. Unfortunately, respectable isn't enough in 2017.

    Dallas' recipe for success last year was run-game dominance, not only for moving the ball and scoring touchdowns but also for helping a weak . While the defense got better in some ways from 2016, the absence of Sean Lee has crippled it over the last few weeks.

    If the Cowboys have a prayer of salvaging this season, the offensive line has to give Dak Prescott a chance. That means keeping him upright and also keeping defenses honest with some real fear of the rushing attack. Unfortunately, even if all of the o-line starters play, their collective health may be too bad for the level of play that Dallas needs.

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    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    dallas1966

    Jess, great article. I truly believe if the Cowboys loses on Thursday night, Jason Garrett will either be force to make serious changes at coordinator positions, or if Garrett refuses, will have the door knob, hit him where the sun don’t shine..

    Russ_Te

    Run game numbers are good enough for balance. They had to scrap it in the second half each of the last 3 weeks.

    Last moves before Garrett is in trouble on Friday:

    – Butler to stretch coverages, Gathers as the Godzilla inside, Switzer to sell defenses to give up on rotating down – since proven Beasley is on the bench. It is time to see all 3.

    – If the pocket is gone, then don’t set up in it. Use Dak’s legs on sprint outs, rolls, boots and even designed scramble plays. It’s hard to cover for 7 or 8 seconds.