Over the past years, possibly the top three linemen in Cowboys history, center Travis Frederick, tackle Tyron Smith, and guard Zach Martin, have given Dallas one of the best offensive lines in the league.
However, the line is getting old.
The recent retirement of center Travis Frederick and the numerous health concerns that have loomed over Smith and Martin have shown that the Cowboys offensive line is obviously not what it used to be.
Martin was drafted in 2014 and has become one of the best guards in the league. He has consistently made the Pro Bowl every season since he was drafted and in 2018 the Cowboys made him the highest-paid guard in the league.
Martin has remained fairly healthy so far during his time in Dallas, but he has had some minor injury scares. Last offseason, he had to get an MRI done on his back which revealed an “irritated disk”. Later in the season, he had a scare with his ankle.
Now, Martin is healthy and will be on the field Sunday, but what about Smith?
Smith was drafted by the Cowboys in 2011 as the ninth overall pick. He has been named to the NFL top 100 list the last seven seasons and has attended seven straight Pro Bowls. Smith has definitely been a force on the offensive line.
In 2016 Smith missed multiple games with a back injury, in 2017 he had a stinger that caused him to miss two games and also led to that terrible game in Atlanta where Dak was sacked non-stop.
Smith also seemed to have a slow start to camp this year. He left practice early one day and did a lot of individual drills, but he eventually joined the rest of the team, and is good to go week one.
With one of the three main pillars of the Cowboys offensive line gone and another getting older one has to wonder, what will happen to the line?
The Cowboys replaced the spot left by Frederick with veteran center Joe Looney. Looney has started on the line in the past, in 2018 when Frederick missed the whole season looney filled his spot and he handled the role well.
Dallas has also used the draft to start building for their future. This year they drafted Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, who does not seem to be a starter this season. In 2018, the Cowboys drafted guard Connor Williams out of Texas, who appears to be getting his chance to start this season.
The Cowboys offensive line has seen better days, but it seems like they are trying to fill in gaps.
The younger guys are still unproven, but if they are anything like the Martin, Smith, and Frederick there may still be hope.
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