in

Film Review: Cowboys Interior O-Line Struggles Make Zeke Look Human

For all the questions which surrounded the Dallas Cowboys going into the season opener, the one unit which we thought we could count on would be the offensive line. Heralded as the strongest unit in all of football, the run game was supposed to excel on Sunday, and carry the Cowboys to success while quarterback Tony Romo was missing.

But then this top unit ran into a wall. Led by Damon Harrison and Jonathon Hankins, the New York Giants defensive tackles gave All-Pro Center Travis Frederick and potential Pro Bowler La’el Collins fits on Sunday.

We knew that the Giants defensive line would be a tough match-up given their size and talent, but I had expected Frederick and company to get the better of the two on most occasions. Unfortunately, Sunday might have been Frederick’s worst performance as a Cowboy.

Gyazo

Gyazo is a simple way to share screenshots, GIFs, and replays in seconds. Take interesting and useful captures from games, apps, and sites instantly.

The Cowboys want their bread and butter play to be inside zone. On any inside zone play, the center has an extremely important block. Either he must combo up to the playside backer, or take on the playside 1-technique when the play is run weak side. The latter is at play here.

Given Ezekiel Elliott’s vision and the design of the play, Frederick doesn’t have to get a ton of movement on the tackle for it to be successful. He just needs to get in the right position, and stop penetration. Neither of these happen on this play, and it results in him getting shed in the backfield, and Elliott being brought down.

Of course, Doug Free and Jason Witten also contributed to the failure of this play, but this is a block we have seen Frederick make time and time again. He must be better next week in this area.

https://gyazo.com/b19d85f01bc5450636d8677a697ae7fb

As I mentioned earlier, the center has a very important block on any inside zone play. Here we see the Cowboys run it to the strong side, requiring Frederick to get on his horse and cut off the playside backer.

Instead he gets tied up with the backside 1-technique and pushed off his track. When he finally gets to the second level, he whiffs on the backer, who gets in on the tackle.

Gyazo

Gyazo is a simple way to share screenshots, GIFs, and replays in seconds. Take interesting and useful captures from games, apps, and sites instantly.

Once the defensive tackle shifts down to a 1-technique, Frederick and Collins are expecting to combo block on him up to the playside backer. Instead, Fredrick is pushed back violently right off the ball, and Collins bails on his playside zone step. The result, the defensive tackle splits the double team and it looks real ugly.

Had the block on the tackle been made, the Cowboys would have actually had a nice play, with Elliott having a two-way go.

Gyazo

Gyazo is a simple way to share screenshots, GIFs, and replays in seconds. Take interesting and useful captures from games, apps, and sites instantly.

Okay, I am done with the negatives for now. Travis Fredrick is the best center in all of football. This is a pure fact, no matter how ugly some of his reps looked against the Giants on Sunday.

The good news for the Cowboys, Frederick won’t play this poorly two weeks in a row. He is too talented to do so. Also, the Cowboys next opponent, the Washington Redskins, don’t have anyone near the talent level of Damon Harrison on their defensive line.

I am expecting a huge bounce-back game from not only Frederick but the entire Cowboys offensive line in the run game this week. And if they can get going back to their true form, the Cowboys will have a real shot to get their first win of the season

Gyazo

Gyazo is a simple way to share screenshots, GIFs, and replays in seconds. Take interesting and useful captures from games, apps, and sites instantly.

I’ll leave you with a positive play for Travis Frederick and La’el Collins, so you can rest a little easier knowing that they can be better.

What do you think?

Written by 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.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Loading…

0
Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsWASH: Expect Improved Running Game From Cowboys

#DALvsWASH: Expect Improved Running Game From Cowboys

Cowboys Headlines - Film Review: Cowboys Sack Leader Ryan Davis Brings Versatility

Film Review: Cowboys Sack Leader Ryan Davis Brings Versatility