It really doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you’re a fan of the National Football League then you know the Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL. The Cowboys had to invest heavily in their OL in order to earn that distinction, but it has paid off in a big way. But, what is the one thing that has made the OL so great?
If we are all being completely honest, then we know it mostly has to do with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. These three former first rounders are the foundation the entire offense depends revolves around and one of the reasons why a lot of people believe Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott had such amazing rookie seasons in 2016.
Smith, Frederick, and Martin have all turned into Pro Bowl players for the Cowboys and are arguably the best at their given positions. It’s no wonder the offensive line has been so fantastic over the past several years, but I really think it comes down to one thing that has made them so great.
Some of you may be thinking the Cowboys OL is great because of their continuity with one another or the fact they have three players ranked among the best at their given positions. And, you wouldn’t be wrong. But, I think it all comes down to their health and being able to stay on the field an entire season.
The Dallas Cowboys started building their offensive line back in 2011 when they spent their first-round draft pick on Tyron Smith. They added the next foundation piece once again in the first round with the selection of Travis Frederick. But, it didn’t really all come together until they added Zack Martin in 2014.
Smith, Frederick, and Martin have amazingly been able to stay healthy and on the field nearly their entire careers for the Dallas Cowboys. I think it’s that reason and that reason alone why the Cowboys have been able to put together one of the best OL units in the entire league.
Travis Frederick is the only player on the Cowboys’ roster who has never missed a single snap so far in his entire career. That is extremely rare in the NFL, especially for a center who is down in the trenches play after play with bodies falling around him.
Zack Martin has played nearly every snap in his professional career, except for his rookie season. In 2014 he only played 1,054 out of a possible 1,060 offensive snaps. That comes out to 99.43%, but that’s still rather impressive.
Unfortunately, Tyron Smith comes in third among the Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Bowl offensive lineman when it comes to being able to stay on the field. But, even he hasn’t had any serious health concerns fortunately.
2016 was by far Smith’s worst year healthwise since entering the league in 2011. He only played 835 out of a possible 1,054 offensive snaps, which comes out to snap percentage of 78.92%. Even though he was banged up off and on nearly the entire year, he still managed to fight through it and compete at a high level.
So, for those of you that might be a little bit worried about the starting offensive line in 2017, you can take comfort in the fact that as long as Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin continue to stay healthy, the Dallas Cowboys will have a great OL.