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Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line Depth Getting Tested Early

Brian Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line Depth Getting Tested Early

Despite Ezekiel Elliott's absence, training camp for the Dallas Cowboys has pretty much gotten off to a good start. That's the good news though. The bad news is that their offensive line depth is currently getting tested and it could be a cause of concern throughout the remainder of the offseason.

With Zack Martin, Connor McGovern, and Cody Wichmann currently nursing injuries, the Dallas Cowboys are currently a little thin along the offensive line. That's not even mentioning the veteran days off Travis Frederick is receiving while he works his way back into shape after missing all of 2018 with an autoimmune disease. This not only hurts the evaluation process, but it could also get someone injured.

Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys know all too well the importance of having some competent depth behind their starters. They've learned from their mistakes, cough cough Chaz Green, and have been much more vigilant since then at addressing the issue. That's why it's not all that surprising they recently brought in some help.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed OL Lukayus McNeil, who can play guard and tackle. He had been with the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys have been searching for OL depth with injuries to Zack Martin, Connor McGovern and Cody Wichmann.

Now, this may seem like a "meh" addition on the surface, but it's a smart move on the Cowboys part because it will help with the evaluation process throughout the remainder of preseason. That's the short term goal right now. The long-term goal is to get everybody healthy once again.


Sadly, the offense simply can't function if the OL is breaking down and letting the defense wreak havoc on the running and passing game. Evaluating the backup QBs and RBs could be more important this year than it has in years past. There's just too much unknown behind Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to feel comfortable if one or both had to miss any amount of time.

Fortunately, the injuries to Zack Martin, Connor McGovern, and Cody Wichmann aren't expected to keep them out of action much longer. Holding Martin out right now is mostly precautionary and according to Mark Lane and Stephen Jones, McGovern could finally make his Cowboys debut in a couple of weeks.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones tells @1053thefan Connor McGovern will be back practicing in a couple weeks.

Once everyone is back to full health the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't have any concerns about their depth along the offensive line. Martin will immediately step back into his starting spot and McGovern will be a valuable backup due to his versatility to play guard or center. Add Joe Looney and Xavier Su'a-Filo to the mix and Dallas has some quality depth pieces at their disposal.

Until all of this comes to fruition though the overall depth will continue to be tested. It's definitely something to keep an eye on this week when the Dallas Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 of the preseason. Hopefully the OL can manage to hold up for a few more weeks until they are back to full strength.

Do you have any concerns about the Dallas Cowboys offensive line depth?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Game Notes

NYJ 24, DAL 22: Cowboys Comeback Comes Up Short Again

Jess Haynie

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Is 2019 Jason Garrett's Last Training Camp with the Dallas Cowboys? 1

The Cowboys are now 3-3 after creating another halftime deficit and not being able to overcome it. Their losing streak continued with a 24-22 loss to the previously winless New York Jets.

Dallas trailed 21-6 at halftime in one of the more embarrassing first halves of football we've seen this team play. It took an improbable 62-yard field goal from Brett Maher to give them some kind of positive feeling heading into the locker room.

The worse sequence came earlier in that quarter. Trailing just 7-3 at that point, the Cowboys marched over 50 yards to put themselves in scoring position. But a 4th-down try came up short, and then the Jets answered with a 92-yard touchdown pass from Sam Darnold to Robby Anderson.

That play seemed to knock the wind out of Dallas' sails, and they were still reeling on the Jets' next possession when New York scored another touchdown on a six-play, 65-yard drive.


The Cowboys struggled early on offense, and that had a lot to do with missing personnel. They went into the game without Randall Cobb, Tyron Smith, or La'el Collins suiting up. Then Amari Cooper had to exit early with a quad injury and didn't return.

The halftime adjustments were there. Dallas outscored New York 16-3 in the second half and pulled within two points on a late touchdown run by Dak Prescott. But the two-point conversion attempt failed when Dak got hit and tossed an errant ball to a blanketed Jason Witten.

Another week. Another loss. And now the Eagles are coming to town next Sunday night.

If the Cowboys don't start figuring out how to play well early, this season is only going to get uglier.

Other Notes

  • Prescott put in an admirable effort given the amount of pressure that Gregg Williams' defense was applying. He completed 28-of-40 passes for 277 yards and had the rushing score, giving up no sacks or turnovers.
  • Dak's rushing TD, the 20th of his career, tied Roger Staubach for the most in Cowboys QB history.
  • Ezekiel Elliott had a big day with 105 yards on the ground and another 47 receiving, plus a rushing touchdown. One of his biggest plays won't show up in the stat sheet; he drew a defensive pass interference call on the Cowboys' final drive running a deep route as a receiver.
  • Brett "Mixed Bag" Maher gave you the full range of his wows and woes today. That 62-yarder was truly special, putting him in rare company as just the third NFL kicker to ever hit multiple kicks of 60 or more. However, he also missed one from just 40 yards out. The Cowboys have now lost two games by just two points in which Maher missed an easy field goal.
  • Chalk up two more sacks for Robert Quinn, who has five now in just four games. Outside of those plays, few Cowboys even breathed on Sam Darnold today.
  • Jourdan Lewis got more playing time today with Anthony Brown getting hurt, and he did what he tends to do with a clutch interception. Lewis' picked off Darnold early in the third quarter after the Jets had driven down to the Dallas' 11. It helped keep New York off the scoreboard and was critical to the Cowboys' comeback efforts.
  • Thankfully, this loss did not cost Dallas their shared NFC East lead with the Eagles. Philadelphia also fell today in their road game against the Vikings. Both teams are now 3-3 as they prepare for next week's rivalry game.


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Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Win In The Trenches, Limit Le’Veon Bell

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys DT's Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods Primed for Monster Seasons

My biggest wish of the day is for the Dallas Cowboys to win their football game. It's been more than two weeks since we've been able to enjoy a good victory. The New York Jets present us with a favorable matchup and what should be an easy game for the Cowboys. However, this is the NFL, and surprising things can happen any given Sunday. Dallas can't take this game for granted.

Let's get into this week's Cowboys Wishlist! Make sure to let me know yours in the comments section below or tweet them at me @MauNFL and let's talk football!

Wish #1: No Turnovers

Last week's performance was a painful one to watch. While we can take a look at every single aspect of the game to find out why the Cowboys lost, it's actually pretty simple. Dak Prescott and the Dallas' offense turned the ball over three times. If you have a -3 turnover differential, you're losing that games nine times out of ten.

The Cowboys offense is better than given credit for, but if they keep handing the ball to opposing teams, no one will notice that. It's a simple wish, but an important one. Just stop turning the ball over.

Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, Defensive Tackle

Dallas Cowboys DT Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods

Wish #2: Win in the Trenches, Limit Le'Veon Bell

As Aaron Jones plowed his way through the Cowboys' defense for 107 yards and four rushing touchdowns, the lack of quality defensive tackle play was very noticeable. The defense was pushed around in the trenches just about every play. Antwaun Woods has been injured recently, but not even with him coming back will the Cowboys solve their problems.


As the team's three-technique, Maliek Collins has also struggled to stop the run and bring pressure. This time, they're facing a Jets offense that's led by RB Le'Veon Bell. Could things go south versus a 0-4 New York squad? I doubt it, but if they do, I'd bet it's because of Bell. Hopefully, the Cowboys win the battle.

Wish #3: Blake Jarwin Plays More

I can't get over the fact that with the Cowboys trailing late in the game last Sunday, it was Jason Witten who was still on the field and not Blake Jarwin. I love Witten, but doesn't Jarwin have better deep-threat potential? I've been surprised by #82 and how well he's played since coming back, but I'm still a firm believer that Jarwin should get more playing time.

Through five weeks, Jarwin has played on 125 of the offensive snaps while Witten has been in for 240. I wish Jarwin gets more playing time today.

Dallas Cowboys Need Better From These 3 Players 1

Wish #4: Cowboys Start Fast

What is wrong with the Cowboys when the games start? They have yet to have a good start this season. Even when they faced the Washington Redskins, New York Giants, and the Miami Dolphins they struggled to get it going. I don't know if it's an execution problem or bad play-scripting from the coaches but this will get the Cowboys in trouble if it isn't fixed.

It's a 60-minute game and if you start playing well late, you'll be beaten as the season goes on. The Cowboys need to figure this out, and the Jets are a fortunate opponent to get back on track.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Win In The Trenches, Limit Le’Veon Bell" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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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Game Notes

Will Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence Finally Go Off Against Jets?

Jess Haynie

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Lookout Deshaun Watson, QB Sack Leader DeMarcus Lawrence is Coming!

With only 2.5 sacks in five games thus far in 2019, DeMarcus Lawrence is currently on pace to have less than 10 sacks on the season. That would be a disappointment for all parties after the Cowboys defensive end just signed a massive contract extension this offseason, but today's game against the New York Jets may give him a chance to make up some ground.

The Jets have been abysmal at protecting their quarterbacks so far this year. Despite only playing four games, being one of the few NFL teams to already have its bye week, New York has given up a league-high 23 sacks already in 2019.

That's almost six sacks per game. Six!

Granted, some of that volume has come from having third-string QB Luke Falk playing the last three weeks. But even when Sam Darnold was playing in Week One he still got taken down four times.

The opportunities should be there for Lawrence to pad his stats. Even just a two-sack day would greatly boost his numbers, but there's potential for more with how bad the Jets have been at pass protection.

DeMarcus' slow start in 2019 has been due to a variety of factors. For one, he missed almost all of training camp and preseason practices by remaining on the PUP list until August 20th. Lawrence had offseason shoulder surgery and was recovering until just a few weeks before Week One.


Another reason is that, at least through the first four weeks of 2019, Tank was the most double-teamed edge rusher in the entire NFL.

That hasn't been all bad for the Cowboys. After all, the attention that Lawrence draws has helped Robert Quinn get off to a hot start since his Week 3 debut.

In fact, Quinn may be who prevents Tank from having a big day in New York. It will be interesting to see which guy gets to the QB first.

There's also a chance that, if this game winds up being a blowout, Dallas will limit Lawrence's playing time due to some nagging injuries. They want their franchise DE ready to chase down Carson Wentz next Sunday night.

Wins are bigger than stats, of course. DeMarcus Lawrence gets that and hopefully most fans do as well. His impact is bigger than just sacks; just his presence can positively impact games and create opportunities for other pass rushers and blitzers.

Still, we all love seeing our favorite Cowboys among the league leaders at season's end. Lawrence probably won't be catching Shaquil Barrett (9 sacks) this year, but hopefully today's game allows him to move up the board.


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