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Football Outsiders: Cowboys Halftime Adjustments Helped Stabilize O-Line

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The fine folks at Football Outsiders are running a new weekly column, entitled "Word of Muth," in which former Stanford (and all-Pac10) left tackle Ben Muth breaks down offensive line play. This week, it's the Cowboys' turn once again.

Muth makes the following observations about the O-line performance against the Titans:

  • Leonard Davis deserved to get pulled. His ongoing struggles against quicker defensive tackles became particularly evident against the Titans' Jason Jones.
  • Marc Colombo also struggled in pass protection but stayed in the game partly because of his run blocking, and partly - according to Muth - because of who his backup would have been.
  • Muth saw evidence that the Cowboys halftime adjustments (keeping the backs in to block longer as well as going to full-slide protection) significantly improved the O-line performance.
  • Free had the training wheels taken off, as the extra protection was moved over to Colombo's side in the second half. Doug Free passed the test.

If we go by the old maxim that for the O-line, 'no news is good news', then the left side did quite well, while the right side struggled mightily. Muth's analysis is much more detailed (and includes cool diagrams!). Check out his fine work.