Found July 18, 2012 on The Sports Headquarters:

Today I address the Offensive Line Fantasy Value of the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys have strengths and weaknesses on the line but overall it is an adequate group.  Dallas has a decent group of RB’s, WR’s and a security blanket at Tight End so that takes a minor bit of pressure off the guys in the trenches.  The Offensive Line consists of Left Tackle Tyron Smith, Left Guard Nate Livings, Center Phil Costa, Right Guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and Right Tackle Doug Free.

Left Tackle Tyron Smith was selected in the 1st round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cowboys and is eveything they hoped he would be.  He has the measurables to be a perennial All-Pro.  He slides well, pcaks a violent punch, adjusts to bull versus speed rushes and has huge hands.  He played Right Tackle in 2011, but he will move to the left side in 2012.

 

Left Guard Nate Livings was picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted Free Agent in 2006.  He stayed with the Bengals until this year when he was picked up by the Cowboys.  A space eater he is one of the heavier Left Guards in the game today.  He isn’t afraid to do any task that is required of him.  He won’t get much recognition but he was coveted by the Cowboys.

 

Center Phil Costa was taken as a Free Agent after not being selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.  He was a filling a roster spot and not expected to make the team until an injury to starter Kyle Kosier and ineffective play by the second and third stringers opened a spot for him.  He impressed so much that he made the 53 man roster.  He has a challenge to maintain the position now due to Bill Nagy who overachieved in 2011 in the limited action he received.

 

Right Guard Mackenzy Bernadeau was taken in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.  He remained with Carolina primarily as a backup but will man the starting RG position at least for the time being for Dallas.  His strength is in run blocking due to his massive size, but he can get off balance at times.  He will have backups breathing down his neck as well.

 

Right Tackle Doug Free was taken in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cowboys.  He underachieved big time in 2011 after receiving a large contract.  He will slide into the RT position after being less than functional at LT.  He gave up 9 1/2 sacks and had way too many penalties so the plan is to get the more mobile Tyron Smith to man the blind side.  Free needs a bounce back season or he could be a cap casualty in the next few years.

 

Now to analyze the numbers…..

 

Dallas ranked 9th in Total Run Blocking in 2011 allowing their RB’s to rush for 4.61 yards per carry which exceeded the NFL average of 4.31 yards per carry.  The group of RB’s were stopped at/or behind the line on 19% of their rushing attempts which was equal to the NFL average.  They were able to achieve 1st downs on 3rd/4th down runs 57% of the time which was well below the NFL average of 62%.  The Cowboys ran 374 times in 2011 and with a healthy DeMarco Murray, expect that trend to continue.  The RB’s had their least success running behind the Right Tackle position averaging 3.27 yards per carry which was 3rd last in the NFL.  They, however, managed to rush for 4.77 yards per carry behind the Left Tackle which ranked 5th in the NFL.  From a Fantasy perspective look for Murray to come back and excel again this year.  There are less than stellar options behind him so if he isn’t healthy or isn’t effective, this Offensive Line won’t be a factor in 2012.  I found it interesting that the RB’s had their least success running behind Tyron Smith and their most success running behind Doug Free…..It appears that they were stronger running to the left side due to better kick outs.  They averaged well over 4.7 yards per carry running left while only getting 3.6 yards per carry to the right.

 

Dallas ranked 13th in Pass Protection allowing Tony Romo to hit the deck via sack on 6.1% of his dropbacks which was below the league average of 6.7%.  The offensive line averages well over 310 pounds per guy so they were able to clog up the lanes of the pass rushers.

 

From a Fantasy perspective if this Offensive Line can slow down blitzers on passing downs and create avenues for the RB’s than the team will have success at least on the Offensive side of the ball.  My projection is for DeMarco Murray to rush for 1000+ with 6 TD’s.  I expect Miles Austin to bounce back from his hamstring issues and post decent WR2 numbers.  After the debaucle over the weekend involving Dez Bryant, I must admit that I see his roster spot in peril.  Jerry Jones will not have his beloved Cowboys’ reputation tarnished to that degree.  It is likely that Commisoner Goodell will suspend Dez for Conduct Unbecoming a Professional, so expect a few game ban.  Bryant has always been an underachiever to date and I didn’t really see this year beeing any different anyway.  Draft him with low expectations.  Jason Witten will be….well….Jason Witten.  He will get a ton of targets and swallow the ball up.  He is reliable and will give QB Tony Romo that underneath presence.  Look for Tony Romo to have a great season.  I can see a 4700+ yard season with at least 35 TD’s and better decision making in the clutch.  It could be his last chance as he is wearing out his welcome with those in management who want the Super Bowl NOW!!

 

Thanks to www.footballoutsiders.com for the stats

 

Next team on the hit list will be the Denver Broncos


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
UGLY SITUATION

Bryant's mother's 911 call released

The audio of the 911 call Dez Bryant's mother made after the alleged altercation between she and her son that led to his arrest has been made public. 

The Dallas Cowboys is “America’s team,” at least $1.85 billion suggests so

Jerry Jones has 1,850,000,000 reasons to be happy, and a chick ain’t one. He’s the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and according to projections from Forbes magazine, the Cowboys are worth a staggering $1.85 billion, making them the champion for printing money in the NFL and tying them with the New York Yankees as the most valuable franchise in all of American sports. Jones, bought...

Emmitt Smith on Dez Bryant: 'Some mature quicker than others'

Ian Rappaport of NFL.com caught with ex-Cowboy Emmitt Smith to get his take on the Dez Bryant situation . “There’s enough people commenting on it, anyway, anything I do is going to be piling on,”... “That’s a level of maturity that must take place,” Smith said . “This is where people have to be patient with people like Dez or younger players. Everybody has to...

50 Hottest Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders & Sexy Superfans

Today we tackle the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders & superfans. Like most of you, we are itching for football season to start. In the midst of the dog days of summer, many get sick of baseball and start turning their attention to football. Don’t blame you a bit. To help quench your thirst, BC is going on a 32 team, 32 day, 32 gallery tour of NFL cheerleaders & superfans....

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant Arrested

Earlier today, Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant turned himself in today to DeSoto, TX police and was arrested for a Class-A misdemeanor of family violence, for an alleged assault on a female family member. He was released on bail, but this somewhat minor incident could have even more dramatic undertones for the team. Dez Bryant in trouble again First, let’s state the obvious. This...

Dez Bryant Will Never Pass Michael Irvin To Be 'That No. 88'

Details continue to emerge surrounding the recent arrest of Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.  A warrant issued Saturday evening led to Bryant voluntarily turning himself in to DeSoto Police on misdemeanor charges of domestic assault.  Newest reports indicate Angela Bryant, the third-year receiver's mother, was the victim of a violent attack leading to the arrest.  The incident...

Authorities: Cowboys WR's mother doesn't want case

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant's mother has told authorities that she doesn't want to pursue a case against her son after an argument allegedly turned violent. A Dallas County district attorney's spokeswoman says the case DeSoto police filed against Bryant includes an affidavit of non-prosecution from the complainant. The affidavit means the complainant doesn...

Cowboys’ Dez Bryant arrested for domestic violence

Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant was arrested today on misdemeanor domestic violence charges. This is a major red mark on an offseason that was so far going so well for Bryant, as he got himself into the best shape of his career and earned praise from several prominent people, including Owner/GM Jerry Jones, who praised the former 1st round pick’s maturity. Contrary to popular...

Tony Romo hailed as Jordan-like in JCC league

He might not be the NFL’s best quarterback, but there’s no denying Tony Romo is a talented multi-sport athlete. That’s especially so on the hardwood, where he’s quickly drawing major props. Mazel Tov! This offseason, Romo joined a basketball league at the Jewish Community Center, which, to say the least, is a far cry from the gridiron. But just because he’s not dodging...

Report: Dez Bryant Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges

Reports out of Texas Monday morning was that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had been arrested in DeSoto, Texas and charged with domestic violence. KDFW reports that Bryant assaulted a female family member and he later turned himself in. The assaulted female was not hospitalized. Bryant told WFAA, "I'm good. I'm good." downplaying the incident. Just a...

Dez Bryant Assaults Mother, is Bigger Knucklehead Than Anticipated

I remember arguing with my Texans brethren back in 2010 about why the team should not even consider drafting Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State. First of all, I knew it wouldn’t happen due to the team having a no nonsense policy on guys with red flags on character issues. But, still, they argued that his talent made him worth the risk. But after the events of the last 24 hours, Bryant...

Top 10 reaons why Dez Bryant (Allegedly) Beat His Mom

It's Mug Shot Season. No, Wabbit Season!10) Peer pressure in the Cowboys organization can sure make a man do strange things9) Wanted to raise the bar from ordinary domestic abuse8) Needs to truly test the ability of Jerruh Jones and fantasy honks to look the other way7) Let's face it, he was always going to jail for something, so it might as well be something relatively original6...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.