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Dallas Cowboys O-Line, Are They Good Enough?

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What makes a good Offensive line? How do we judge their performance? The questions could go on and on, with many different outlooks. I am sure my assessment is different than yours, but one thing is for sure everyone has doubts about the Dallas Cowboys Line and I am not so sure all the doubts are warranted!

Many of us were spoiled by the O-Line of the 90’s teams, and there are some of us that believe that if you cannot operate the way that line did then you’re not any good! Well this is just not true!

The design of the teams offense can make or break a line, just the same as a line can make or break an offense.

There are many out there who always want to look at sacks allowed as the judgment stat, this is the wrong way to look at things.

In 2006 this O-line paved the way for 1936 yards rushing on 472 attempts for an avg. of 4.1 yards per carry. In that same year Bledsoe and Romo combined for 4067 passing yards on 506 attempts for an avg. of 8.0 yards per attempt. They were also sacked 37 times.

Then in 2007 they rushed for 1746 yards on 419 attempts for an avg. of 4.2 yards per carry. While Romo threw for 4211 yards on 520 attempts for an avg. of 8.1 yards and was sacked 25 times.

Finally last year they rushed for 1723 yards on 401 attempts for an avg. of 4.3 yards per carry. The group of QB’s last year combined for 3789 yards passing on 547 attempts for an avg. of 6.9 yards per play and were sacked 31 times (11 of those over a 3 game span from Bollinger and Johnson).

So are you seeing the trend? What I see is a team game planning away from the run, not because they cannot do it but rather just because they want to.

In three short years this team has gone from a super balanced attack (50% runs vs 50% pass) to a very one sided passing team (last year 42% run vs 58% pass) and in every year since 2006 there number of plays and rushing yards have gone down! There average yards per carry have increased to further prove the point that it is not a line problem but more so a scheme problem.

When you are dealing with a line built at an average 6’5” 327 lbs. you cannot expect them to sustain blocks for very long! Guys that big are built to smash folks in the mouth and blow open a hole and then release.

As far as the sack numbers are concerned this unit averages 1.9 sacks per game over the last three years. Just to put this figure into perspective, the Indianapolis Colts give up the least per game with an average of 1.1 sacks per game (12 less per year than Dallas) but the Cowboys line protects as well and better than most in the rest of the league. The Giants come in at 1.7, Patriots 2.1, Eagles 2.0.

What I am trying to get to is very simple, This Line may not be the best in the league but they are most definitely in the top tier!

For those of you who wish to argue and live in the 90’s please go look at the numbers! From 1992 to 1995 (the hay day) the O-Line of all O-Lines gave up an average of 1.5 sacks per game (a mere 6 less sacks over the course of the year)! Over that same time period the Cowboys offense averaged 30 pass attempts     per game , and 32 rush attempts per game with a average of 4.1 yards per rush attempt.

Now I have never claimed to be the smartest guy on the planet but the only thing I see wrong with this group is the way that they are used!

This team has a wealth of talent on the Offensive line that is not being used properly. I have never been one to play around much with predictions, but I feel compelled in this situation!

So I am hereby making my first prediction of the season (it may be my last too!) If this unit (Jason Garrett) changes there scheme and gets back to being more of a 50 – 50 offense, this offensive line will be regarded as one of, if not THE top lines in the NFL!

I am also going to go on record as saying this team will win the division and end its playoff win less streak!

I realize I have opened myself up to some harsh criticisms, but I am willing to defend my thoughts are you?


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3 Comments
  • Jonathan

    I’m convinced. Your research speaks volumes. Count me as one of the many that’s been critical.

    • bags030404

      Thanks to a few commentors the last few days my curiosity was kicked into gear. I have never really looked at the numbers or really investigated the situation until now and I am so glad that I did!

  • Jonathan

    I’ve been saying since off-season began that the Cowboy’s need to be more balanced. And I, also, have pointed to scheme as being a huge issue. But I never delved into the stats driving my belief. Like many, I assumed much of the problem was due to the OL inability to give Romo time. But like you said, they really aren’t built to do that on a regular basis to begin with. Hopefully will see a change in that direction this season. And if we do, I agree with your prediction.

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Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas Cowboys?

Sean Martin

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Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas Cowboys?

This will hardly be the last article written about the wide receivers of the Dallas Cowboys entering the 2018 season. However, we can only hope it's the last off-field incident that will factor into the difficult decisions the Cowboys will make on their final depth chart at WR. Yesterday, veteran Wide Receiver Terrance Williams was arrested for public intoxication after leaving the scene of a crash involving his Lamborghini.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams released a statement on his recent arrest detailing several facets of the incident: "I have always been an upstanding citizen and handled the situation the best way I know how.

Details concerning the severity of the incidents that led to Williams arrest remain somewhat unclear. His on-field production certainly has not been though, putting himself in an expendable position by failing to catch a touchdown in 2017 and only going for over 100 yards once.

Handling this Terrance Williams situation in whatever the "right way" is will be yet another critical decision the Cowboys make under Head Coach Jason Garrett. A team that has clearly valued continuity under Garrett, there is precedent for the Cowboys keeping a now-troubled player like Williams if the void he'd leave behind is too large.

It is widely believed that this is a Cowboys coaching staff working to keep their jobs in 2018. Losing Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Terrance Williams in one offseason may very well be too much.

Already dealing with a broken foot that expects to keep Terrance Williams out of football activities until training camp though, it is becoming increasingly easier for Williams to become forgotten about in new WR Coach Sanjay Lal's room.

New additions to this unit include FA signings Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, along with rookies Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson. Joined by the likes of KD Cannon, Lance Lenoir, and Malik Earl, all of these receivers are going to stake their claims for a spot on the Dallas Cowboys before Williams even catches another pass from Dak Prescott.

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Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Once perceived to be fighting for positions below Hurns, Williams, and Cole Beasley as locks on the final 53 man roster, Williams' arrest is the epitome of "next man up" in Dallas. Even if Williams remains with the team in 2018 - as cutting him would only make moral sense for the Cowboys, not financial - his days as a starting receiver may very well be numbered.

As mentioned, this won't be the first look we have at the status of the Cowboys receivers. I'm already on record having high expectations for Michael Gallup, and believe Cedrick Wilson was one of the steals of the draft for the Cowboys in the sixth round. The unproven nature of this pass catching unit (through to TE with rookie Dalton Schultz) is going to make for fascinating training camp battles, competing for spots in an offense that could still be one of the league's best.

Tell us what you think about "Is Terrance Williams Roster Spot Safe with Dallas Cowboys?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Arrest: Salary Cap Impact if Released

Jess Haynie

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3 Current Starters Cowboys' Fans Hate, But Shouldn't 1

The news of Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' arrest yesterday sent a shockwave through an otherwise quiet mid-May news cycle. Many fans are wondering what the team might do, and what effect decision could have on Dallas' salary cap.

Unfortunately, moving on from Terrance won't bring the team in cap relief. But given their current cap space and where we are in the offseason, the Cowboys should have the freedom to cut the receiver if they choose to.

Depending on who you ask (OverTheCap, Spotrac), the Cowboys have somewhere between $5-$9 million in current cap room. If they release Williams before June 1st, his cap hit accelerates from $4.75 million to $7.25 million in dead money. That means he counts $2.5 million more off the team than on it.

If Terrance is cut on June 1st on later, the 2018 dead money is $4.75 million for a net-zero wash. That extra $2.5 million counts against 2019.

While that may sound cost-prohibitive on the surface, you have to remember where we are in the offseason.  May is very different from March when you're talking about cap space.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Free agency is essentially over. The Cowboys don't need to worry too much about their 2018 cap room at this point, so they can absorb Williams' dead money if they want to cut him loose.

Helping matters should be the eventual new contracts for Guard Zack Martin and Defense End DeMarcus Lawrence.

Martin's 2018 cap hit is currently around $9 million. Once he signs his new long-term deal, which is almost sure to come before training camp, that number should go down significantly. Dallas can do an immediate Year One restructure and potentially create around $6 million in cap space.

That alone would facilitate cutting Terrance Williams, but then they also have the hopeful new deal for Lawrence. The $17 million that Lawrence currently counts as a franchised player will go way down with a long-term contract. If Dallas can get that done, they may not have to touch Martin's deal.

The point here is that while cutting Williams is not a financially beneficial move, the money shouldn't stop the Cowboys if they don't want him around anymore.

If Terrance has proven anything during his five years in Dallas, it's that he doesn't have the talent to step into a primary role. With new arrival Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley both showing they can produce at a high level at times, plus exciting rookie Michael Gallup now in the mix, the Cowboys' season hardly relies on Williams' presence.

Of course, the Cowboys have a history of sticking by their guys during times of personal problems. Josh Brent did way worse than Terrance and remained supported by the organization.

But each situation and player are different, and the coaches may have already soured on Williams after a lackluster 2017. They may have only kept him because of those cap numbers we discussed before.

Terrance's latest dropped ball may have been the final straw, though. If so, the salary cap shouldn't stop Dallas from cutting him.


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BREAKING: Terrance Williams Arrested For Public Intoxication After Car Accident

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams is in jail after crashing his car, a Lamborghini, into a light pole, per the Star Telegram. The incident occurred approximately at 3:00 AM, according to the reports and Williams, who fled the scene was arrested two hours later. He was arrested for public intoxication and was also charged for leaving the scene.

According to Clarence Hill, Williams was still in jail as of 11:30 AM.

Kate Hairopoulus, from SportsDay, reported that according to Frisco Police, the Lamborghini was found without a driver. After determining that the car belonged to the Cowboys' wide receiver, they proceded to arrest Williams near his residence, where he was riding an electric bicycle.

This certainly explains why T-Will wasn't arrested for DUI instead of public intoxication. Hairopoulus also reported that Williams has been released on a $369 bond.

Without much more details, Terrance Williams' future with the Cowboys doesn't look very promising as of right now. After hauling a lot of receivers during the offseason, the WR room in Dallas will feature a lot of competition.

Williams, who's recovering from a fractured foot and missing the offseason programs, has something to prove. Certainly, an accident like this doesn't help much his cause.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with more details about Terrance Williams' arrest.

Last updated at 2:20 PM CDT.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: Terrance Williams Arrested For Public Intoxication After Car Accident" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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