The Dallas Cowboys made a series of unsexy picks in the first round in the 2011, 2013, and 2014 NFL Drafts. The only break from their philosophy over the four year stretch was in 2012, when they traded up and drafted Morris Claiborne. With their first round OL picks, the Cowboys find themselves in great shape on the offense for a number of seasons to come. It is clear that the Cowboys are in a class of their own, but let’s take a look at how the rest of the division shakes out.
Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, Travis Frederick, La’El Collins
The Dallas Cowboys lost 40% of their offensive line this off-season but will continue to feature three consistent All-Pro players in Tyron Smith, Zach Martin and Travis Frederick. They will plug in potential superstar La’El Collins and they will have a new unnamed starter (Chaz Green? Jonathan Cooper? Emmett Cleary?) along the offensive line. This group sets the standard across the National Football League and their cumulative success has already started to change the culture of how other franchises draft offensive linemen. The offensive line will continue to dominate this year and will be ultimately responsible for the success rising sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have this season.
Washington Redskins: Trent Williams
The Redskins feature Trent Williams at left tackle. He anchors an otherwise decent line. When he is balling out (and avoiding suspension), Williams is one of the very best in the game. Spencer Long played well last season at the center position because of injuries and he enters this season as the starter. The rest of the line is composed of a series of misfits and veterans who will be good enough to give the Redskins the second best offensive line in the NFC East.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters, Lane Johnson
The Eagles enter this season with Jason Peters at left tackle, perennially one of the best at his position. The Eagles would have the second best offensive line in the division if right tackle Lane Johnson could stay on the field and avoid suspension. While the interior of the line is weaker than others, the Eagles have a serious strengths on the outside, something that LeGarrette Blount will benefit from.
New York Giants: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh
The Giants must blame themselves for the lack of consistent success because they have never made the offensive line a priority. They enter this season with Ereck Flowers at left tackle and Bobby Hart at right tackle. That is clearly not a recipe for success. Their interior has been somewhat strong with left guard Justin Pugh leading the bunch. Any success the Giants have this year relies on Eli Manning’s passing ability, which will rely predominantly on how much protection his offensive line can provide him. At this point, the Giants have the least talented offensive line in the division.
Dallas Cowboys: 4 points
Washington Redskins: 3 points
Philadelphia Eagles: 2 points
New York Giants: 1 point