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

    For all the questions which surrounded the going into the season opener, the one unit which we thought we could count on would be the . 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 was missing.

    But then this top unit ran into a wall. Led by and Jonathon Hankins, the defensive tackles gave All-Pro and potential Pro Bowler fits on Sunday.

    We knew that the Giants 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.

    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 's vision and the design of the play, Frederick doesn't have to get a ton of movement on the 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, and 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.

    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.

    Once the 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.

    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 , 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

    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.

    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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    I think Weston Richburg might have something to say about your assertion that Frederick is the best Center in football.


    5 can’t block 8 any way u look at it!!

    Julius Jamarco Silas

    This is exactly what I thought GREAT article I agree %

    Sean Martin

    Thank you so much for reading! I appreciate it a ton. Go Cowboys!


    Great read and it’s good to see everyone needs to get a little momentum . It looks like the o-line and Zeke will have much easier going in this week’s game.

    Mike Young

    Excellent breakdowns and illustrations. Looking forward to better play this week (all-around). Go Cowboys!