Marc Colombo and Kyle Kosier both returned to practice on Monday after missing time with injuries last week, a good sign for two players who needed the bye week more than just about any others on the Dallas roster.
Colombo and Kosier have both been dealing with injuries since the preseason and probably should have been left on the sideline for more than just the first week of the regular season. The poor play of the replacement offensive linemen in the first week probably made that impossible. There just wasn't any way to sell Alex Barron as a starting tackle after his hold-a-thon and Montrae Holland's fourth quarter false start stuck out in a game where every play could have changed the outcome.
Understandable, but less than ideal given the way the two men played in their first game back. They were the worst two players on the field against the Bears and Colombo committed a pair of penalties that hurt the Cowboys as they attempted to get their first victory. Wins tend to make it easy to ignore the negatives, so they weren't particularly scrutinized following the game against the Texans but watching the video finds that they were still net negatives.
In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, they've been the two biggest negatives on the team through the first three weeks. Terrence Newman has a lower overall grade than Kosier, but his is at least spread out over three games and, frankly, that ranking seems a bit punitive for a guy who hasn't been all that bad. Colombo and Kosier get no such reprieve from these eyes, mostly because the Cowboys are treating them like they those rankings are dead on.
The Cowboys haven't run behind Colombo once in the two games that he's started and they've run behind Kosier just six times. That imbalance is going to make it really easy for opposing defenses to devise plans to halt the Cowboys attack before it gets going. As we saw during the Texans game, the Cowboys offense is at its best when the team's playcalling and formations are unpredictable, but that unpredictably only goes so far when you know that the team will not run behind either of the offensive linemen on the right side.
In a perfect world, Colombo and Kosier are better than what the team would get from Barron and Holland. In the real world, the difference has been neglible and that's including the dreadful performance on opening night. That's why you have to hope that the bye week served as a salve for the lingering aches and pains, because the Cowboys can't just keep the status quo in place when the status quo isn't helping them win football games.