Two themes about the Dallas Cowboys are repeated in football blogs:
- the O-line sucks
- T.O. will implode and drag the Boys with him
Last year, the Cowboys got off to a fast start offensively. Drew Bledsoe was the NFC's top rated passer and suffered relatively few sacks, while tackle Flozell "the Motel" Adams was healthy. Adams was hurt in October and lost for the season. The Cowboys suffered more sacks (50) than Peyton Manning had touchtowns (28). The road to Bledsoe often came through Pettiti Boulevard, as rookie tackle Rob Pettiti struggled against the pressure.
Pettiti did not survive the last roster cut. The Cowboys figure the line will improve with the return of Adams and with Marc Columbo starting at right tackle. Columbo was a first round draft choice by the Bears, who cut him after their loss to the Redskins in 2005 week one. He seems to be past rehabilitating a persistent knee problem. Seventh round rookie Pat McQuistan's development as a back-up made Pettiti expendable. He was quickly picked up by the Saints.
The key to the Cowboys offensive line is Adams, who is as important to Dallas as Jansen is to the Redskins and Runyan is to the Eagles. Although he missed most of the preseason, if Adams returns to his 2004 form, Bledsoe might not seem so immobile and the Boys might average more than the 3.6 yards per carry that they did last season.
As for T.O., who knows, but it's unlikely that he will sink the team by week two when the Redskins visit.
Why is this important? The Cowboys offense had the best preseason performance of all the NFC East teams (1749 yds, 7 TDs compared to 1029 yds, 3 TDs for the Redskins). They did that without Adams and without Owens. Bash them if you must, but if their their O-line issues are resolved, this offense must be respected.
None of this would have escaped the notice of our guys in Ashburn. I know Coach-in-chief Gibbs and his deputies already have a package in place for the Cowboys.But first, we have to take care of those pesky Vikings.