Analyst: Todd Werley @TWerley62 (Due to issues with Word Press, Todd wasn't able to “post” this article but did all authoring/analysis)
Starters: 77, 71, 63, 73 and 68 with Parnell rotating again.
Grading system used is pretty simple. For starting OL who get every rep a bad score is anything less then 10. The 11-20 range is average and anything over 20 is exceptional play.
Going into week 17 for a playoff spot should be your best football, so I believe these grades tell the tale more then others. Before reading these grades it should be noted that the Redskins ran a base 3-4 defense that caused a lot of protection problems by sending more then front five could block.
The non-existent run game had to do with trailing most of the game but Vickers also was a big factor. I can't tell you how many times wrote “Vickers blown up by LB”, so a ton of running plays were over before they started.
Overall it still wasn't a stellar day for the trenches either.
LT Tyron Smith
Smith got every snap at left tackle and besides a few missed assignments on protection was solid. Main thing with Smith is if he gets his hands on a defender the most likely won't get near the Ball Carrier. A couple times Kerrigan got underneath his pads but Smith didn't give up a sack. Blitzes confused him early but later in game he adjusted. He was the most consistent OL and will only get better with another year at left tackle.
LG Nate Livings
Got every snap at left guard. Livings started the game fairly strong getting push on Bowen on zone runs and had good pass protection. Livings started to struggle when Skins brought pressure. One thing about Livings is that he has a decent punch but at times waits to engage with opposing defensive lineman. He will get pushed back but can reset himself well. In the second half Bowen got the best of him several times. Livings gave up a sack in protection late in the game when the Redskins continued to blitz and confuse protection. Out of the two guards neither were great but he was the best of the two. Still think when healthy he and Smith are solid on the left side. Out of starting offensive lineman Livings is the only one who seems to possess some nastiness on film.
C Ryan Cook
Biggest thing you see about Cook is he is definitely a Garrett type guy. He may not look or play like a Pro-Bowler but knows what he can and cannot do. Again like I've seen in previous breakdowns he positions his body well in front of defensive lineman. He missed a twist stunt early and caused another hurry when was overpowered by Cofield. Cook had a pancake block on Fletcher when Murray broke a long run and for most part was solid. Great Depth/Backup guy moving forward if Dallas doesn't add a center and Costa can stay healthy.
Grade + 17
Got every rep at right guard. Like I saw with analysis of the Steelers game, its easy to see which position needs to be upgraded the most. For most of the game in pass protection 73 looks like he is on skates. Too many times has he has no punch and is being overpowered where Romo cannot extend his arm or follow through. Ball came out fluttering at least once because of Bernadeau getting beat. This is a recurring thing with Bernadeau, saw that many times in Steelers game as well. In both games Bernadeau graded the lowest of 6 offensive lineman evaluated.
RT Doug Free
Rotated with Parnell but Free started and finished game at right tackle. Not sure if a light came on or if the rotation helped him but at the end of season Free was not nearly as bad as the first 8 games. Free showed good seal blocks to spark Murray on a few long runs and pass protection wasn't bad. Gave up two hurries but no sacks. The majority of the pressure on Romo came because of the interior offensive line and a few because Skins had more rushers than Cowboys had blocking.
Grade with split reps +10
RT Jeremy Parnell
Parnell got five series but a few were cut short because of turnovers. He appeared to be good in pass protection. Although he plays high at times, when he gets his body on defensive linemen he usually gets them moving. If he continues to progress I believe he can develop into a starting right tackle if the Cowboys don't draft one. From what I saw in two games evaluated it wouldn't be as tragic as some think if Free took a pay cut and Parnell wins starting right tackle spot.
Grade with Split reps +10
Everyone breaks down film their own way. I believe that my way is an accurate representation of these players ability. If you disagree, let me know what you think! To each their own!
Check in every Sunday for film analysis by Todd Werley.