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Thread: Why Our Offense Stinks: 3 of our O-Lineman Among the Worst in the League (Smith too):

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  1. #1

    Default Why Our Offense Stinks: 3 of our O-Lineman Among the Worst in the League (Smith too):

    Very revealing article courtesy of the Dallas Morning News (and disappointing for Tyron Smith regardless of switching sides in his second year):

    -When owner Jerry Jones talked earlier in the week about the Cowboys’ offensive line, he mentioned only one player by name.

    -That was backup offensive guard Derrick Dockery, who has played only four snaps.
    Considering how the offensive line has struggled in the first four games, perhaps Jones didn’t want to recognize anyone for his play or maybe bringing up Dockery should serve as a warning shot for the five starters: Play better or play less.

    -A Cowboys offensive line that sputtered throughout 2011 hasn’t shown any progress. The front five has especially been vulnerable on the right side, where guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and tackle Doug Free haven’t provided much push for the Cowboys’ struggling running game.

    -Fourteen Cowboys’ rushing plays have yielded negative yardage, with half of them coming on runs to the right side.

    -“I’d just like to see us be able to get in there and have movement when we want it in the offensive line rather than zero-yard plays or minus-yard plays,” Jones said. “I’d like to see us have our offensive line be more consistent.”

    -According to Pro Football Focus, center Ryan Cook and left guard Nate Livings are the only two Cowboys offensive linemen who have played above average.

    -Cook grades out 13th among 35 centers who have played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps, according to the website, and Livings grades out 24th among 71 offensive guards. Left tackle Tyron Smith grades out 53rd among 69 offensive tackles.

    -The biggest problem has been the play of Free and Bernadeau. Free grades out 64th among 69 offensive tackles who have played at least 25 percent of their teams’ snaps, and Bernadeau grades out 68th of 71 offensive guards.

    -“I got some improvements to make,” Bernadeau said. “I just have to be more consistent.”
    Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and first-year offensive line coach Bill Callahan said Thursday that the offensive line mistakes have been a combination of technique and assignment issues, communication breakdowns and getting beat physically up front.
    The offensive line didn’t practice together for the first time until the week of the season opener because of several injuries. The Cowboys expect starting center Phil Costa to play Sunday at Baltimore after battling a back injury all season. But he was part of the problem last season as the interior of the offensive line allowed pass-rushers to charge the middle and swarm quarterback Tony Romo.

    -The Cowboys signed Livings and Bernadeau in the off-season to get bigger to better protect Romo and to also open holes in the running game for DeMarco Murray.
    But the push up front hasn’t been there.

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    Is anybody really shocked? Only one I am shocked by is Tyron. But he is playing a new position so he gets a pass.

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    This has been chronicled many times on many OL threads recently.

    Sturm pointed out that the team is relying on the tackles to play on islands and let the guards help in the middle of the OL. We have a new OL coach and philosophy. Last year the philosophy was LT-LG, LG-C-RG, RG-RT. This year it is LT, LG-C-RG, RT.

    Smith, only 21, is playing LT for all of 4 games. He began roughly, and has improved. He will have some growing pains. Yet, like Free, just by being out there by themselves has improved the OL. Their individual stats will take a pounding, but the UNIT is better.

    Cook was signed to add depth just for the team to be able to practice with an injury plagued OL. That signing proved prescient as he started soon afterwards with another injury.

    Livings has been a good signing. He has one bad game, but otherwise has been way above average. The scouts saw that he was misused on other teams and had skills that could be used here.

    Bernadeau has been disappointing.

    Yet don't expect any major changes until we get folks healthy. Costa was the starting center. Kowalkski, the primary backup, is on PUP. Cook, the third string center, has played well enough that the team will evaluate who will start when all in healhty. One of the others might move to RG.

    Don't look for Dockery to do anything but take up a roster spot.

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    I'm certain if the staff really felt Dockery were someone likely to provide an upgrade to Bernadeau, he'd have probably been inserted into the lineup already. He's convenient to mention in desperation as a threat for Jerry to use as a possible replacement for those perceived as falling short, though. As recently as a week ago, Coach Garrett stated we already had the best players available already playing within our OL lineup. It certainly seems obvious there's not much available in the way of immediate relief. Such is the sad but true state of our OL.

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    Get healthy Costa, Cook, and Kowalski ready to play and the OL looks better

    1/3 of the OL is not healthy - that is a bad sign for any team. I am sure that the eagles would like to have their OL healthy too.

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    Smith is playing the hardest position on the line. He is on a steep learning curve. He is left on an island to block one on one. He happens to be the only offensive linemen we run positive yards behind.

    PFF puts a lot of weight into penalties for offensive linemen. And Smith has more than his share of penalties. He isn't being beat physically and when he gets his hands on you it is over, you are blocked. The guy is an outstanding talent at LT who has a lot to learn and a lot of room to grow. He isn't part of the problem. I don't care what PFF says... I bet you big money that if offered all the teams who have those tackles rated higher than smith by PFF would probably straight up trade for Smith right now with the exception of maybe 6-8 guys.

    Domer

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    Derrick Dockery and Kowalski should be starters, ASAP. Our line is terrible! Free should be cut.You can't have an efficient offense with no offensive line, Romo is running for his life, no holes for Murray and our receivers forget how to catch a football. Not to forget we have no discipline and love committing penalties. Get rid of Free and Bernadeau.
    Why is Costa starting? YIKES!
    I love this team, but I am becoming less interested each year. Why should I stay committed if the team has no heart or discipline. Might be time for me to find a new team.

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    find a new team????????????????? good luck with that doyl, you will find you hate all other teams and have to come back to the boys win or lose. it's rough but that is what being a fan is all about.

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    Welp when you worry more about selling tix than winning games this is what happens in the trenches. Thanks Jack*** Jerry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboydoyl View Post
    Derrick Dockery and Kowalski should be starters, ASAP. Our line is terrible! Free should be cut.You can't have an efficient offense with no offensive line, Romo is running for his life, no holes for Murray and our receivers forget how to catch a football. Not to forget we have no discipline and love committing penalties. Get rid of Free and Bernadeau.
    Why is Costa starting? YIKES!
    I love this team, but I am becoming less interested each year. Why should I stay committed if the team has no heart or discipline. Might be time for me to find a new team.
    I like Kowalksi and have thought he would start even last year. Yet he can't start if he is not active and that won't occur for several more weeks.

    When he comes back, we will see some changes to the OL. I suspect that 2 of Kowalksi, Costa, and Cook will start and Bernadeau will be the odd man out.

    Costa has been discussed MANY TIMES. short version

    - don't compare him last year in his second year to the best of Gurode
    - he had a spectacularly bad game early last season that singlehandedly moved him down 6 ranks
    - divide his season into thirds and you will see his progression

    ---early - terrible but memorable
    ---mid - with Holland in the middle, Costa was average
    ---late - without Holland in the middle, but Woicik's work paying off - average

    - then the coaches continued to be impressed with Costa's off-season progress

    Dockery was signed to be the veteran backup last year. He had to start within days of signing just like Cook this year. The difference is that Cook is successful, Dockery was not. We had tryouts to get more depth when the team could not even practice due to injuries. Dockery was beat out by Holland, but was cheaper. The cap matters, but quality still stands out and for Dockery that is not a positive.

    Free is playing a new position again. He was developed to be the LT. He actually has better measurables than Smith. Free was inactive early in his career so he could focus on LT. He finally started a few games at RT when Colombo got hurt.

    The next year Free excelled at LT. Last year he did not. Yet last year we moved Kosier, the glue of the OL, to RG to mentor Smith. That paid off for Smith but left player-to-be-named-later at LG.

    This year we have Bernadeau next to Free. Bernie has been disappointing. Not surprisingly, Free seems more like the Free of last year than two years ago. Yet even if Bernadeau was better, we are letting the tackles play out on islands. The tackle's individual stats will suffer, but the OL will improve.

    The OL has had several penalties but the frequency has gone down with the small amount of time to get used to Cook at center. His timing is different from Costa's and that takes a while and communication to fix. Yet we have seen that occur.

    Since Garrett has taken over mid-season a year and half ago. We have seen the OL with 4 of 5 players with new positions TWO SEASONS IN A ROW and hired a new OL coach. The OL went from one of the oldest to one of the youngest in the league. This was all done, while eating dead money in a Mora enhanced salary cap environment. There are and will be growing pains.

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    When you yearn for guys like Procter, Tucker and Petitti, you know things are bad.
    Rest in peace Royallypwned (Blake Fomby).

    "It's a hard hard situation. There's no playbook for this sort of thing in life." Tony Romo

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    I like Kowalksi and have thought he would start even last year. Yet he can't start if he is not active and that won't occur for several more weeks.

    When he comes back, we will see some changes to the OL. I suspect that 2 of Kowalksi, Costa, and Cook will start and Bernadeau will be the odd man out.

    Costa has been discussed MANY TIMES. short version

    - don't compare him last year in his second year to the best of Gurode
    - he had a spectacularly bad game early last season that singlehandedly moved him down 6 ranks
    - divide his season into thirds and you will see his progression

    ---early - terrible but memorable
    ---mid - with Holland in the middle, Costa was average
    ---late - without Holland in the middle, but Woicik's work paying off - average

    - then the coaches continued to be impressed with Costa's off-season progress

    Dockery was signed to be the veteran backup last year. He had to start within days of signing just like Cook this year. The difference is that Cook is successful, Dockery was not. We had tryouts to get more depth when the team could not even practice due to injuries. Dockery was beat out by Holland, but was cheaper. The cap matters, but quality still stands out and for Dockery that is not a positive.

    Free is playing a new position again. He was developed to be the LT. He actually has better measurables than Smith. Free was inactive early in his career so he could focus on LT. He finally started a few games at RT when Colombo got hurt.

    The next year Free excelled at LT. Last year he did not. Yet last year we moved Kosier, the glue of the OL, to RG to mentor Smith. That paid off for Smith but left player-to-be-named-later at LG.

    This year we have Bernadeau next to Free. Bernie has been disappointing. Not surprisingly, Free seems more like the Free of last year than two years ago. Yet even if Bernadeau was better, we are letting the tackles play out on islands. The tackle's individual stats will suffer, but the OL will improve.

    The OL has had several penalties but the frequency has gone down with the small amount of time to get used to Cook at center. His timing is different from Costa's and that takes a while and communication to fix. Yet we have seen that occur.

    Since Garrett has taken over mid-season a year and half ago. We have seen the OL with 4 of 5 players with new positions TWO SEASONS IN A ROW and hired a new OL coach. The OL went from one of the oldest to one of the youngest in the league. This was all done, while eating dead money in a Mora enhanced salary cap environment. There are and will be growing pains.
    One thing I admire is your optimism for the OL. While I think things will improve, I don't see one guy on this line who will be a pro bowler in the near future outside of Smith. There aren't any adjustment periods in the NFL anymore. At some point, I think we have to ask ourselves if realistically, this was more of a rebuilding year than a playoff run. The fact we're even asking ourselves that question should get our GM and HC fired immediately considering Romo, Witten, Ware, Rat are nearing the end of their prime. Wishful thinking I guess...

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    one should compare this year's OL

    - to the OL of last year or
    - to the SB winning OL of NY last year

    You don't have to have pro-bowlers, you have to have a UNIT that is good enough. In fact, with the cap, having too many pro-bowlers on the OL is too EXPENSIVE and tends to be less successful.

    Yet this is a year of transition. We have been transistioning since Garrett took over. Garrett hired new coaches to work on fundamentals. We signed all the FAs that the team targeted except for a TE.

    Many of the rookies have not seen major time on the field due to injuries. Yet just like Lee and then Carter, rookies of one year can turn into major players OVER TIME.

    Yet one should consider that the salary cap SLOWS DOWN team transition. Garrett was willing to eat dead money to free the team from non-productive players. The team went from one of the OLDEST to one of the YOUNGEST OL in the league.

    Young guys take time to develop. UNITS take time to develop. One just can't snap your finger say voila.

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    A few things stand out to me in that article.

    1. All the quotes by Jerry Jones about our personnel. Why is he the one talking to the media about that? It should be Jason Garrett doing so. HE'S the coach, Jerry. Garrett. Even if Jerry's also the GM, it's the coach's job to make these kind of addresses to the media. Tex Schramm never did it, nor did either of the two previous owners. I know there's the argument that Jerry bought the team and therefore gets to run it how he wants to. Well, I guess someone has the right to buy a yacht and sail it into rocks too. The point is this usurps your coach's power, and he's the man you want to be powerful and respected. People have told me if I don't like it, get used to it or root for another team. That's hard to do. I've been a fan of the team since 1972. My family has been fans since 1960. My parents used to go to games at the Cotton Bowl. It's really difficult to just switch to another team. I tried that in 1989 when I was so mad about how Jerry treated Landry. Lasted all of 2 quarters.

    2. Costa coming back maybe offers a tiny ray of hope. I know he's been trashed as an awful center, but he did show improvement as last season went along and Coach Callahan sang praises to his work ethic. Maybe he's a lot better.

    3. You don't make a champion out of a team in which 3 of the O-linemen are the worst in the league. I don't think anyone has ever done anything like that. The 1978 Denver Broncos did become AFC Champions with a bunch of linemen claimed off waivers, but that's the closest to a miracle line that I've heard of.

    I am holding out a teeny tiny ray of hope that the men on this line are better than we realize and are just getting in sync. We've got the right coach working with them. Callahan is excellent. He'll get the best that can be gotten from whatever level of talent they have. Of course, if the talent simply isn't there, even he can't turn sewer water into wine.

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    NYG last year PFF OL

    pos...name......ranking...percentile

    OT...Diehl............69 of 76...09
    OT...McKensie.....62 of 76...18
    OT...Beatty.........57 of 76...25

    OG...Snee...........59 of 78...24
    OG...Diehl...........77 of 78...01

    OC...Bass............29 of 35...17

  16. #16

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    What Cowboydoyl just said struck a note with me. I have been a fan since the days of Dandy Don but I find myself less and less interested with each passing failed season.Then the same song and dance comes about fixing the trouble when everyone knows the only constant has been the GM and that will not change. I'm dis heartened and frankly just tired of it. Still here but losing my grip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Conehead View Post
    A few things stand out to me in that article.

    1. All the quotes by Jerry Jones about our personnel. Why is he the one talking to the media about that? It should be Jason Garrett doing so. HE'S the coach, Jerry. Garrett. Even if Jerry's also the GM, it's the coach's job to make these kind of addresses to the media. Tex Schramm never did it, nor did either of the two previous owners. I know there's the argument that Jerry bought the team and therefore gets to run it how he wants to. Well, I guess someone has the right to buy a yacht and sail it into rocks too. The point is this usurps your coach's power, and he's the man you want to be powerful and respected. People have told me if I don't like it, get used to it or root for another team. That's hard to do. I've been a fan of the team since 1972. My family has been fans since 1960. My parents used to go to games at the Cotton Bowl. It's really difficult to just switch to another team. I tried that in 1989 when I was so mad about how Jerry treated Landry. Lasted all of 2 quarters.

    2. Costa coming back maybe offers a tiny ray of hope. I know he's been trashed as an awful center, but he did show improvement as last season went along and Coach Callahan sang praises to his work ethic. Maybe he's a lot better.

    3. You don't make a champion out of a team in which 3 of the O-linemen are the worst in the league. I don't think anyone has ever done anything like that. The 1978 Denver Broncos did become AFC Champions with a bunch of linemen claimed off waivers, but that's the closest to a miracle line that I've heard of.

    I am holding out a teeny tiny ray of hope that the men on this line are better than we realize and are just getting in sync. We've got the right coach working with them. Callahan is excellent. He'll get the best that can be gotten from whatever level of talent they have. Of course, if the talent simply isn't there, even he can't turn sewer water into wine.
    good post REV. agreed on all points.

  18. #18

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    PFF is garbage, a lot of what effects Tryon's is the penalties and JPP owning him.

  19. #19

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    [QUOTE=DrP;379592]one should compare this year's OL

    - to the OL of last year or
    - to the SB winning OL of NY last year

    You don't have to have pro-bowlers, you have to have a UNIT that is good enough. In fact, with the cap, having too many pro-bowlers on the OL is too EXPENSIVE and tends to be less successful.

    Yet this is a year of transition. We have been transistioning since Garrett took over. Garrett hired new coaches to work on fundamentals. We signed all the FAs that the team targeted except for a TE.

    Many of the rookies have not seen major time on the field due to injuries. Yet just like Lee and then Carter, rookies of one year can turn into major players OVER TIME.

    Yet one should consider that the salary cap SLOWS DOWN team transition. Garrett was willing to eat dead money to free the team from non-productive players. The team went from one of the OLDEST to one of the YOUNGEST OL in the league.

    Young guys take time to develop. UNITS take time to develop. One just can't snap your finger say voila.[/QUOTE At the start of last year the giants OL was terrible and Eli was getting killed, they improved. This line had no time to gel because of reasons we all know about. The tackles flip flopped new guards, center goes down ,we should have know it might get rough .I might be alone here but I'll bet we will see this OL play better and better as the season goes along ,it takes time too gel .....

  20. #20

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    Our o-line was the best in football during our superbowl run in the 90s. I just don't see how we could believe that a below average line is sufficient.

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    Gee, someone who couldnt start for the ****ing Panthers last year isn't playing well. Shocker. Let's throw millions of dollars at him and pencil him as the starter before the season.

    What could go wrong.

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    The first dyansty was based on better scouting - we looked as small schools and other sports, analyzed data on computers [back when the power of your laptops/cell phones took up a entire room]. Eventually the league caught up - the combine et al. Not surprisingly when the league caught up, we fell among the alsorans.

    The second dynasty was BEFORE THE SALARY CAP. The second dynasty was based on JJ finding additional revenue to PAY for talent. The took noticed and changed the environment, just as the league adapted to the first dyansty.

    As FA took major effect, we lost the ability to stockpile talent and be able to afford them. We used to have 3rd string guards like Ron Stone who left to be a pro-bowler.

    In fact, the problem that Jerry can be rightly cricitized was NOT ADAPTING TO THE CAP. He tried to extend the good times and got caught up with injuries and had to eat DEAD MONEY. It took years to get out of that hole.

    Give credit to NE for adapting to the era first. It took a long time, but eventually Dallas got its cap in order. Garrett was willing to eat dead money early to give the team more flexibility in the long term. Throw in the Mora enhanced salary cap and we were NOT going to spend huge money on the OL this year.

    Teams have to have budgets for each player and for each position.

    Teams that have too many pro-bowlers have to skimp in other areas. When the inevitable injury occurs the leaves holes that other teams can exploit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejohnson View Post
    Gee, someone who couldnt start for the ****ing Panthers last year isn't playing well. Shocker. Let's throw millions of dollars at him and pencil him as the starter before the season.

    What could go wrong.
    perhaps you wanted to start instead

    Dockery

    - the veteran backup
    - who demonstrated why we don't want to start him and
    - only resigned him due to injuries and that Holland wanted too much money - [see cap AGAIN]

    Loper - the King of the Roster transactions
    Arkin - the project
    Leary - who could not even make this teams OL roster.

    Maybe you are holding out for Costa or Kowalksi to be ABLE to play, but what to do in the meantime?

    The millions of dollars is what you pay for average players as has been shown MANY TIMES ON MANY THREADS. Lvings and Bernadeau were signed for relatively CHEAP contracts to give time to develop the younger guys on the team. If like Livings they do well - great. If not, then there is no great cap hit and move on.

  24. #24

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    Thing that bothers me is if you start putting too much pressure on an offensive lineman who's underachieving, struggling, missing assignments, or whatever... they start holding out of desperation. Remember Alex Barron? Just like a struggling cornerback, if he keeps hearing negative comments yet doesn't have the mental or physical ability to actually improve, he'll start committing pass interference or giving way too big of cushion at the line for fear of being beat.

    Bottom line, if the player doesn't have the mental or physical tools to do the job, you simply have to find someone else. But because we've taken the importance of a strong o-line for granted, we have nobody else.

    Exactly why Romo has to try and improvise so many times to make up for this weakness and try to do more than he possibly can.

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    I don't think Garrett has ever taken the OL for granted. He has made major changes each year, even with the Mora enhanced salary cap.

    Now reasonable folks might have gone in slightly different directions. Yet we signed the guys that the scouts identified.

    We were NEVER going to try to sign the Nicks or even Grubbs OL guys. It was not reality.

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