Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently released their 2019 preseason offensive line rankings for all 32 teams in the NFL. Despite the hype and league wide recognition the Dallas Cowboys OL typically receives, they failed to claim the top spot once again. That honor went to the Philadelphia Eagles for the third consecutive year.
It’s debatable the Eagles offensive line is better than the Dallas Cowboys, but PFF firmly stands by the formula they use in these rankings. They would like you to believe their rankings “are never controversial and everyone always nods in agreement while reading”, but I think a lot of Cowboys Nation would disagree.
It may be my dislike for the Philadelphia Eagles or my bias towards the Dallas Cowboys, but there’s not a single Eagles offensive lineman I would choose over the Cowboys starting five. There’s no arguing they had a down 2018 season due to some unfortunate injuries and the absence of Travis Frederick, but this is a talented unit who I believe will rebound in 2019.
Let’s get back to the PFF rankings though. Below is how they projected the Dallas Cowboys starting OL in 2019 and what they had to say about them.
2. DALLAS COWBOYS
Projected Starting Lineup:
Left Tackle: Tyron Smith
Left Guard: Connor Williams
Center: Travis Frederick
Right Guard: Zack Martin
Right Tackle: La’el Collins
Zack Martin and Tyron Smith have been long-time members of the league’s club of elite offensive lineman, but have had to pick up slack along the offensive line on account of recent struggles. Dallas was top-10 in interior pressure allowed from 2014 to 2017 until Travis Frederick’s injury. His return, paired with the hopeful improvement from rookie-turned-sophomore Connor Williams, should aid in the unit’s recovery to its former glory.
It’s hard to argue with anything PFF says about the Cowboys offensive line. They without a doubt have some elite players making up their starting five, but the “recent struggles” (injuries) they refer to is holding this unit back.
The Cowboys OL has to find a way to stay healthy in 2019 if they want to be considered the best. This is especially true for Tyron Smith (back) and Travis Frederick (autoimmune disease). If they can put those things behind them, they should be able to prove to everybody why they’re the best in the NFL.
As far as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line is concerned, they are an aging unit with their own health issues they have to overcome.
With the exception of Left Guard Isaac Seumalo, the rest of the Eagles starting five is 29 years or older. Left Tackle Jason Peters (37) has also struggled remaining healthy here recently, which is probably why they drafted Washington State OT Andre Dillard in the first-round a few months ago. They may be ranked as the top OL in the NFL by PFF, but their fall is just a matter of time and could begin as soon as the season.
I don’t know what you personally think about PFF’s 2019 preseason offensive line rankings, but if you want to know my opinion, the Dallas Cowboys have a best starting five, not the Philadelphia Eagles. I think they will prove to be the better OL unit this year and it will start in Week 1 against the New York Giants.