Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Thin with fat guys: Offensive line

What could be a strength, and what some think will be a strength, will probably be an abysmal failure. The Cowboys OL could be good at best, or really, really terrible.

It can only be good if five things break right. There’s a better chance all five break bad, and a very good chance at least one or more of them will:

  1. LT Flozell Adams. He really wasn’t very good last year, after playing at Pro Bowl level in 2003. What makes anyone think last year was the aberration? He’s always had the talent, but after 7 years in the league, only one of them has been really good. THAT was the aberration. I think this breaks evenly or slightly badly.
  1. LG Larry Allen. Suspect conditioning. Clearly unmotivated. Still effective, but hardly the player he was in the 90’s. He’s getting by on muscle memory and a huge body. I think this breaks evenly. He’s a good player, but I don’t think he suddenly decides he wants to be the best in the game again.
  1. C Andre Gurode/Al Johnson. I covered this already. If Johnson was anything, his job wouldn’t be up for grabs with a plug like Gurode. I don’t see how this breaks well.
  1. RG Marco Rivera. Coming off back surgery, he’s still probably the surest thing on the OL. He’ll probably be a good solid player, but doubt creeps in like this: he gets outmuscled a lot, and the coaching staff says he’s “still regaining strength in his back.” Which I will translate as, “his back is shot and he’ll never be the player he was.” 80-20 this breaks well.
  1. RT Jacob Rogers. Just had an MRI on the shoulder that was operated on in the offseason. He’s had three shoulder operations dating back to high school. He’s only played a handful of special teams plays in the NFL. If this breaks evenly it will be like breaking huge.

If Rogers gets hurt, the roulette wheel starts spinning. Larry Allen probably goes to RT, with Steve Peterman playing LG. That might not be the worst thing to happen. Or perhaps Vollers plays RT with Peterman going in for Rivera when his back gives out.

Barring injury elsewhere on the line, the key is Adams. If he plays well, the running and passing game have a chance to do some damage. If he’s inconsistent, that’s what the offense will be too.


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