Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zach Martin, and La'el Collins; four first-round talents on a single offensive line, all young and none yet into their prime playing years. This is the stuff that makes offensive coordinators sleep a little better at nights. Add in a couple solid blue-collar pieces named Doug Free and Ronald Leary and pretty soon you have one of, if not the, most dominant offensive lines in professional football. As Cowboys fans, we all know this is true, but having it acknowledged from national media sources is gratifying, even more so in light of the negativity that has typically greeted the Dallas Cowboys as they began preparations for the upcoming season.
Not only are the Cowboys now being mentioned as a legitimate contender for their sixth Lombardi Trophy, the offensive line is openly being spoken of as the best position group in professional football. Let me say that again, the offensive line might be the best position group in professional football.
When the Joneses decided to invest top draft picks on the O-line, they reversed the fortunes of the franchise -- giving Jason Garrett the option of relying on a physical, run-first approach to knock off heavyweights around the NFL. With three first-round picks (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin) and a pair of blue-collar blockers (Ronald Leary and Doug Free), Dallas' starting quintet pummeled defenders at the point of attack in 2014, allowing DeMarco Murray to lead the NFL in rushing. The unit could be even better in 2015 with talented rookie La'el Collins possibly joining the starting lineup at left guard. The undrafted free-agent signee was considered a first-round talent before a police investigation on the eve of the draft torpedoed his stock. (Collins spoke to police about the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, but he was never labeled a suspect.) Thus, the NFL's top O-line added another blue-chipper to a group that's set to dominate the game for the next decade. - Bucky Brooks, NFL.com Media Analyst
That means that the Dallas OL is ranked ahead of impressive units from around the league, including the Carolina Panthers vaunted linebacking corps anchored by Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. It also ranks them ahead of the Seahawks safeties and the Jets cornerbacks. Best of all it ranks them just ahead of the teams with the top defensive lines, the St. Louis Rams and the Buffalo Bills.
What really makes this group scary is the fact that, with the exception of Doug Free, is that they are still on an ascending career path. None has more than four seasons of professional experience. They are only going to get better. Among ourselves there has already been some premature speculation that we might be witness to the resurrection of the Great Wall of Dallas, but that is to be expected from those who bleed blue and silver. Now those outside the family are starting to realize that this position group might actually be that good. Only time will tell, but the Dallas offensive line might just take its place on the stage with the greatest line in team history.