You've had your reasons for failing to address the offensive line in recent drafts. It's always been one excuse or the other. "None of our guys fell to us" or the similar excuse of "We didn't have a high enough pick to get a guy we wanted for the offensive line." Well, guess what. The foundation of the Cowboys has rotten under your watch, and you've failed to make adequate repairs. Yes, it's great to have among the best RB, WR, and even arguably QB depth in the NFL. Yes, it's great to have 3 TEs (when Phillips is healthy) that can all have strong roles in the offense. Yes, it's great to have two strong CBs, bookend OLBs, arguably the best NT in the game, and two solid MLBs. These are all great things. But when the offensive line is aged and struggling, it all amounts to nothing. The Bears had probably the worst OL in the NFL last season. They didn't do much to help in the offseason. Their starting LT went down today. AND THEY LOOKED BETTER THAN US TODAY. How far we have fallen. It's pathetic.
Now don't get my wrong. I LOVE Doug Free. I think he's been awesome since last season, and he looks great to my untrained eye so far this year. He's young, talented, and doesn't make boneheaded penalties. The rest of the line? Not so much. They're old, penalty-prone, and just not what they once were talent-wise. Their run-blocking ability is hit-and-miss and their pass blocking is just not good enough.
When Tony actually has time, he's fantastic. He finds the open guy and doesn't force the ball very often anymore. He had two picks today, but he's still dramatically better from a decision-making perspective. His accuracy is sometimes fantastic and sometimes average, but he's a very good QB who gives us a chance to win each week. The problems come when he's forced to throw 50 times because the running game can't get going.
And let's be clear, Jason Garrett did not abandon the run game. It abandoned him. He ran in many instances where I personally thought he should've passed, simply because the ground game had proven to be so horrible today. And that's not the fault of the RBs. They did their best given what they had to work with. The OL let them down, and it let Tony and the rest of the team down as well.
So yes, Jerry, it's time. It's time to take the plunge, put aside your need for "splash players," and draft TWO OL in the first two rounds of next year's draft. Even with the paltry OL success rate in recent years, you're more likely to get at least one good player if you draft two OL high in the draft. Say you hit 50% on OL success rate (which is optimistic, but just for this example we'll say it's 50%). If you draft two, you're pretty much guaranteed to hit on one of them. And that's better than nothing (which is what you've given us in recent years). Sure, you had to spend two high draft picks on OL to only get one OL out of it. But we need to do whatever we have to to get young and talented OL in here. If I knew we'd manage to get 3 new starters out of the draft if we drafted ALL OL in Rounds 1-7, I'd take it. Sure, you didn't address any other needs, but at least you finally repaired much of the OL.
And don't tell me that "our guy didn't fall to us" again, because with this team, we're probably looking at a Top 10 pick. That's definitely high enough to get a quality lineman. And it's not really an option this year. You can say there were other needs in the past, but this year, it's more than clear that OL is without question our biggest need.
Thanks for reading my rant, everybody.