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In the trenches: OL struggles in run blocking but helped protect Cooper Rush for Cowboys win

With only 63 total rushing yards to the Cowboys offense, the offensive line declined from last week’s performance in run blocking.

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Washington Commanders 25-10 at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are now 3-1 in the NFC East, tied for second with the New York Giants.

The Cowboys offensive line had to maximize their efforts in pass protection to give QB Cooper Rush more time in the pocket, to throw deeper passes into the defensive backfield as CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown made big plays. The Cowboys offensive line finished the game with eight total QB pressures, four QB hits and one sack.

In run blocking, the Cowboys offensive line clearly struggled to make crucial blocks as the Commanders defensive line managed to keep the total rushing output to only 62 yards in 29 attempts, averaging 2.1 yards per carry. This is not good enough considering last week the offensive line showed improvement as they rushed for 176 yards against the Giants in week three.

Zack Martin had a up and down game as he was good in the pass protection, but had struggles blocking DT Daron Payne in the run offense, as Payne was able to brush off Martin and get into in the backfield bringing down Ezekiel Elliot for one tackle for loss. Martin also had an injury scare in the game when at the end of a play he rolled over his ankle, but he managed to come back into the game after being attended to by the medical staff.

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Terrance Steele had a steady performance in pass protection and run blocking, doing enough to protect Rush and seal the edge in the run offense. Steele was graded the highest by Pro Football Focus in run blocking with a score of 72.1.

Rookie Tyler Smith looked very composed in the game and made crucial blocks in pass protection. Smith gave up three QB pressures and with one being a QB hit, but rebounded from last week by giving up zero penalties.

After a good display against the Giants last week, Tyler Biadasz declined in run blocking as he struggled along with the rest of the offensive line driving the Commanders defensive line beyond the line of scrimmage. Biadasz was, however, the only offensive lineman in the game in pass protection to give up zero pressures.

As Cowboys fans expected, they got to see more of Jason Peters in this game rotating in at guard with Connor McGovern increasing his game time to 21 snaps, Peters looked the better player in the left guard position as he allowed less pressure than McGovern.

Pressure from Commanders DT Jonathan Allen was making it hard work for McGovern, who returned to the line this week coming back from injury, as Allen managed to beat McGovern to get four tackles for loss with one of those being a sack.

Despite the win, offensive line coach Joe Philbin will need to address this issue with run blocking immediately as the Cowboys will face Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.


Are you concerned with how the offensive line are performing in the run offense?

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