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Film Room: Chaz Green’s Struggles Sabotage Run Game

Often refereed to as the best unit in football, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is expected to clear running lanes and lead Ezekiel Elliott to 1,000 yards or more every season. To be honest, most fans are disappointed if Zeke falls shy of 100 yards per game.

So far this season the Dallas Cowboys have struggled on the ground relative to their performance since 2014. One of the biggest reasons for this decline is the departure of left guard Ronald Leary.

Initially it was expected the Cowboys wouldn’t have much trouble replacing Leary, considering the talent which Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper were thought to have. After week one, these expectations were thought to be fulfilled.

Green played very well against an impressive New York Giants front, and showed signs of athleticism in space and the ability to get movement off the line of scrimmage.

Since that game, however, Green’s play has hit a steep decline. After struggling mightily with the Denver Broncos’ defensive tackles Green had a rather rough game on Monday night in Arizona.

dalvsaz chaz

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

On the very first play of the game the tone was set for Chaz Green’s day. Green steps out to the backside three technique, attempting to seal the cutback lane for Ezekiel Elliott. As soon as he makes contact with the defender, Green stands straight up and stops his feet. He doesn’t bring his hips through contact either, and just shuffles his feet under himself.

Because of this poor technique, the defensive tackle is able to shed the block and get into the backfield with ease. As he did on multiple occasions Monday night, Green ends up on the ground staring back at the man he was supposed to block.

Chaz Green cannot end up on the ground as much as he did last week. In a zone blocking scheme, where the offensive line must work in unison and in the same direction, one man falling can kill the entire play.

dalvsaz chaz 2

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

An area I was impressed with Green after the season opener was with his reach blocking. On outside, or wide, zone Green is often asked to reach and overtake the one technique to seal the first backside defender.

On Monday night, however, Green failed to make these blocks far too often. When firing off the ball to reach the one-tech, Green must make his aiming point the playside armpit of that defender. This will allow for Green to get his head across, and at the very least, he will be able to stay in front, rip his backside arm through, and not allow the defender the cross his face.

Instead, Chaz can’t get this done, and the defensive tackle is able to once again shed him and beat him on the play. And, due to what appears to be a serious contact balance issue, Green ends up on the ground.

dalvsaz chaz 3

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Chaz Green looked incredibly athletic and smooth in his pulls against the New York Giants a couple of weeks ago. Monday night, however, he looked lost.

Asked to pull and kick the end man on the line of scrimmage, Green is responsible for opening this hole for Ezekiel Elliott. Instead, he puts his head down and gets his shoulders way out in front of his feet, making it easy for the defender to win this rep.

Of course, center Travis Frederick also gets beat here, but if Green had made his block I’d be willing to bet that Zeke could beat the nose to his landmark.

I don’t want it to seem like I’m just killing Chaz Green here, but the tape doesn’t lie. He simply wasn’t good enough Monday night, and combined with poor efforts from the tight ends, made Zeke’s night much harder than it had to be.

Green has shown before that he can play better than he has the last two weeks, but if he doesn’t reach that form soon, it may be time to ask if he can really get it done this season.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

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.

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