Why does the Cowboys' offensive line seem so powerful during the first three quarters of the season and so much less powerful during the final third? As a former left guard, I offer my take: The Cowboys' OL is big and strong, and, during the long early part of the season, this is sufficient to overpower most opponents. However, during December and January, the winning teams step up their intensity, but the Cowboys' OL does not. On running plays inside the 5 yard line, I too often see the OL 'leaning' into their blocks rather than 'firing' into them That just doesn't get it done when the opponents are giving everything they've got.
Why are they not playing with greater intensity? With more fire? I don't know, but first of all such fire must be part of the players' character. It isn't necessary that all five must be fire-breathing killers, but it looks to me like none of the Cowboys' five are. Intensity can be inspired by others, teammates or even coaches. Think of the rage that Tom Coughlin displayed last night. Now, think of Wade, hand covering his eyes, lips pursed, as if saying to himself, "Oh, my. Oh, my."
How do we fix it fast enough to do any good before the Cowboys' good young skill players become old, jaded players who don't care any more? I think step one is to replace one or both of Wade Phillips and Hudson Houck. Next, I think we need to add at least one fiery, intense offensive lineman. I don't know if we can wait for a draftee to contribute that fire--a couple of years even for a great first rounder. No, I think it must come through free agency, and not on the cheap. He cannot be past his prime and must immediately claim the respect of the other linemen.
What do you think?