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Dallas Cowboys: Is Offensive Line Depth A Concern?

Though the opener yielded the first win of 2017, it was not all sunshine and roses for their offensive or defensive units.

Upfront, the Cowboys are the most heralded team in the entire league. Boasting All-Pro players like , , and , it has been basically assumed that Dallas has the league's top since 2014.

And, while those three are great and I don't have many questions about the week one starters, Thursday night proved that the depth behind those starters may be an issue.

“Jumbo” , as NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth likes to call him, had quite possibly his worst performance in over a calendar year. Used as the sixth offensive linemen in 2016, Looney got a ton of in-game reps in the team's jumbo sets. Those reps did not seem to help Thursday night, however, as he was pushed into the backfield on run plays far too often.

On one particular play, Looney didn't even give a chance to make a cut, resulting in a loss of yardage.

Starting had a somewhat rough night as well, though he did look to be a solid depth player during the showdown with Philadelphia a season ago. Filling in for La'el Smith, didn't even stand a chance on some snaps, getting run right by and ending up on the ground.

had his moments, as did , which speaks to why those two are now competing for the starting left spot. Rookies Dan Skipper and Nate Theaker also had their moments, and I look forward to seeing more from them.

Can An UFA Make The Dallas Cowboys Roster In 2017?
14 June 2017: Dan Skipper (60)
of the Dallas Cowboys during minicamp day 2 practice at Ford at in Frisco, Texas. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

A common issue among this second unit upfront is their lack of balance. When working with double teams, working laterally, and moving up to the second level as you must do in a zone blocking scheme, offensive linemen must stay on their feet. It is an absolute necessity, as one linemen hitting the deck could ruin the entirety of the run play.

The Cowboys second unit struggled mightily with this, bringing into question if some of them are really able to play in the Dallas scheme. Of course, it is still very early in the preseason. Things will work themselves out as the weeks go by and more games are played. But with Tyron Smith's back issues, I think there is some reason for concern about the Cowboys' offensive line depth.

It is important to remember that third year lineman is still yet to return from . In my book, Green is the best remaining offensive linemen not named Frederick, Martin, Collins, or Smith.

Once Green returns, the depth behind the starting line is bound to look at least a bit better.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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