Cowboys Line Could Be Set for Ugly Debut - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Cowboys Line Could Be Set for Ugly Debut



    It's a pretty fascinating little experiment that Jason Garrett is conducting with the Cowboys offensive line.

    After years of believing that bigger is better, the team has radically changed the look by going with a younger and more athletic group that's more in step with the rest of the offense. The underlying idea of changing the look of the line makes plenty of sense and getting younger was a no-brainer, but the total housecleaning needed to facilitate the change has left the Cowboys with one of the least experienced lines in all the league.

    That could make Sunday night a painful one for Tony Romo and Felix Jones. The Cowboys drew a tough game in every respect when the schedulers put them in New Jersey for a date with the Jets on Sunday night. It's prime time of Week One against a team with designs on big things playing at home on an emotionally charged night.

    It is, as you're surely already aware, also a team with a defense dreamed up by Rex Ryan. Ryan's going to send blitzers at these young linemen from directions they probably didn't think were possible and then he's going to do it again and again until their heads are spinning from the chaos unfolding in front of them.

    Jason Garrett will surely try to protect his young linemen by calling a lot of quick passes, screens and draws, but you can only do that so often without becoming a totally predictable offense. Doing so would play right into Ryan's hands, so the Cowboys will have to rely on their line to hold up at some point on Sunday night.

    They may not and Romo may get crushed as a result. It will look ugly and might even resemble the miserable night turned in by the offensive line in the loss to the Redskins that kicked off the 2010 season.

    That doesn't mean that the Cowboys did the wrong thing, though. The new linemen need to face a Rex Ryan defense and they need to take their lumps so that they are better prepared for next time. They need to understand what it takes to thrive in their jobs and how to avoid future potholes.

    Failing is part of that process, hard as it may be to watch when the failure happens. 

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