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Cowboys offensive line rated middle of the pack

Scouts, Inc. rates all 32 offensive lines in the NFL. Dallas settles in at #17.

17. A big question mark at the start of the season, this unit is still a work in progress as far as pass protection goes because they've had trouble picking up the different pressure packages teams have used on them. They do a good job of coming off the ball and re-establishing the line of scrimmage in the run game on the defensive side of the ball. Still, the Cowboys need to be more consistent in pass protection.

Best player: OT Flozell Adams

John Clayton has a whole Terrell Owens article going over at ESPN, but this part is the real home-run in the piece.

The reason the pressure is on the Cowboys more than the Giants is that next week the Cowboys will embark on the dreaded three-game road trip. The NFL usually schedules three-game road trips for only four or five teams each season, and through the years those trips have been hard on teams.

It's hard to win three consecutive road games. If the Cowboys lose to the Giants and hit that road trip on a short week, they would be at 3-3 and reeling. They play at Carolina, at Washington and at Arizona.

That's exactly right. The pressure is on the Boys to defend their home turf against a division rival. And with the road trip staring us in the face, this game is as close to a must-win as you can get this early in the season. Like I said before, we have to be at least 5-4 coming off the road trip, but we really need to be 6-3.

You want an in-depth read about using the 2-TE offense in the NFL? Check out this Football Outsiders piece at FOX Sports. Here's an example of how in-depth they get.

At the snap, two Cowboys linemen pull left to lead block: center Andre Gurode and left guard Kyle Kosier. The tight ends neutralize the Titans ends: Jason Witten (left side) seals off Travis LaBoy, while Anthony Fasano reach blocks Kyle Vanden Bosch. Right guard Marco Rivera cut-blocks his defender (probably Albert Haynesworth), allowing right tackle Marc Colombo to loop into the backside A-gap. Colombo's first responsibility was probably to stop any defender shooting the gap on this slow-developing play, but no Titans defender attacks from the inside. Colombo is free to roam about the second level.

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