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Cowboys Offensive Line As Bad As Advertised

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Cowboys OL as Bad as Advertised

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David Arkin didn't botch any snaps on Monday night against the Raiders.

The mere fact that such an unimpressive accomplishment is worthy of mentioning after Dallas' preseason opener is a sign that things are not looking good on the offensive line these days. Arkin, forced into the start because of Phil Costa's problem, wasn't able to actually complete many snaps during practice so his ability to do so during the game represents a leap over the very low bar of expectations we're dealing with.

Everything else? Yeesh.

Arkin was manhandled by the Raiders starting defensive line and got flagged for holding in that early phase of the game before he found more successful footing as the Raiders began subbing along their defensive front. The good news for Arkin is that his play didn't jump out all that much.

The bad news for the Cowboys is that it didn't jump out because everyone else played poorly as well. Mackenzy Bernadeau and Montrae Holland provided little to no push in the center of the line, leaving DeMarco Murray to get nothing by a sea of Raiders jerseys in his face when he tried to run in that area of the field. The utter failure of the interior line is why the Cowboys gained 24 yards on one pass to Dez Bryant and -2 yards on the other 10 plays run by the starting offense.

Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly blew through the interior of the line for a sack of Tony Romo that looked like the kind of play that ends a season. It goes without saying that you can't sustain an offense behind a line like that and Romo won't make it through the season without a visit to the hospital.

And, should all that not be distressing enough, Doug Free didn't look any better at right tackle than he did when he was on the other side of the line last season. Tyron Smith was the only starter who doesn't need to step up his game, although we're starting to wonder if he's as good as he looks or if he's just the prettiest belle at a ball full of uglier options.

This was just the first preseason game and injuries obviously pushed people into roles they weren't equipped to play, but it's not like the injured players are sure bets to play considerably better when they're back on the field. Costa and Nate Livings are what they are and the offensive line feels like it is going to be a year-long landmine that the Cowboys will have to avoid as if their lives depend on it.

Which, when you think about it, they kinda do.

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