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Cowboys O-Line Has Its Best Week

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    NEWSLETTERS

    DeMarco Murray's 91-yard touchdown run was notable for several reasons, but one of the biggest was that he ran through a hole big enough for a hippopotamus.

    Given Murray plenty of credit for the jets that took him away from every Rams defender, but when you watch the play develop it is hard to believe that you're actually watching tape of an NFL game. A good high school line opens gapers like that when they play weak teams and you might see it in college every now and then, but it was shocking to see it happen to professionals.

    The play wasn't quite duplicated, but it was pretty indicative of the job that the Cowboys line did all afternoon. They won every battle in the running game and allowed pressure on Tony Romo just a handful of times, usually when the Rams brought the house.

    It was the best performance of the season for the offensive line, by an excessively large margin, and it was refreshing to see struggling players like Doug Free and Kyle Kosier come up with positive contributions after being so bad for so much of the season. We knew the Cowboys' line was going to be a work in progress, but there hadn't been much in the way of actual progress until Sunday's win.

    But was it progress? As well as the blockers did, it is hard not to take everything that went down Sunday with an enormous grain of salt. The Rams are so bad and they put up so little fight once they started falling behind that it is hard to totally trust what unfolded on the field.

    You don't want to take credit away from players who played well, and the Cowboys line certainly played well, but it is hard to imagine that a group that looked so bad in New England made such a complete change in just a week. Montrae Holland wasn't even in the NFL before Sunday's game and he dominated. That's fishy, no matter how much you want to believe otherwise.

    We'll find out soon enough if this was a great leap forward or simply a case of being in the right place at the right time. The Eagles look like they'll have defensive end Trent Cole back this week to go with Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Darryl Tapp on their talented and deep defensive line.

    If the Cowboys truly have found the right formula up front, Romo will have plenty of time to throw and Murray will be running through chasms on occasion. If not, it will be a really long night for both those guys.

    The most likely answer is that there's a combination of both improvement and opponent to thank for what went down against St. Louis. For the Cowboys' sake, let's hope the ratio was slanted in favor of improvement.