When the Dallas Cowboys fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander, almost no one was disappointed besides possibly Paul Alexander and family. Once a strength, the Cowboys offensive line had fallen into mediocrity, capable of great play at times, then poor play at others. The inconsistency was maddening. Many blamed Alexander and his newfangled techniques of line play.
Even Alexander recently noted that getting his techniques across to the Cowboys players was not exactly happening in the timely manner he would probably want, noting that some of the players “didn’t want to mess with it.”
Some of the Cowboys offensive linemen admitted that now that Alexander is gone, they will likely go back to their old techniques, for the most part.
Martin and Collins dismissed the new technique being the issue, but conceded they’d likely revert to some previously used formulas.
“At the end of the day our room wasn’t performing up to the standard that we set the last few years,” Martin said. “I want to reiterate, this was not a one-man problem. We have to play better. Obviously, you can’t just switch everything, especially for some of the younger guys.
“But I think we will kind of implement some of the stuff we’ve done in the past and use some stuff we’ve done recently, too. Any time you do a new technique it’s going to be a tough transition especially with what we’ve done over the past few years. But I don’t want to put the blame on that. It’s not one guy’s one new technique. We weren’t playing up to the standard that we had.”
While Zack Martin and La’el Collins took some of the responsibility for Alexander’s firing, Tyron Smith didn’t want to go there. He was pretty dismissive of that idea, but noted that his play hasn’t been what it should. He’s just happy to see Hudson Houck back.
“It’s always great seeing an old face,” Smith said. “Hud knows me more than anybody. He helped out a lot my first year. He’ll be a big help. [Colombo] knows, as a player, what we need and what we need to get fixed and we trust him and it’s going to be a good process. It’s a big opportunity for Colombo. We’ll move forward and get this thing right.”
Speaking of Colombo, the players were universal in their praise of their new coach.
“If you look at the tape, some of our problems on offense have definitely been up front so it’s something we have to address,” Martin said. “I know Coach Colombo is extremely excited to start working with us full-go. We’re very excited to have Colombo in our room because we’re very used to what he brings.”
Again, there’s that idea of familiarity and going back to what they know. And what they knew in the past was being dominant.
For his part, Collins said he didn’t think the Cowboys will have to switch too much to get back to their old, dominant ways.
“I don’t think it’ll be that much of a change,” he said. “It’s more so just us being able to do a lot of different things that we’ve done in the past, just kind of getting back to us playing at a high level and being more effective.”
This will be an interesting case study of just how much an effect a position coach can have.