Cowboys still have OL issues to ponder

Posted Sept. 09, 2012 @ 2:08 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Cowboys turned in a gutsy Week One victory at the Giants, but not one without OL concerns. The offense featured some strong production despite problems up front.

They started early, with C Phil Costa re-aggravating his back injury three offensive plays into the game. He had to be replaced by Ryan Cook, acquired only five days prior, and, for the most part, Cook turned in a strong performance.

But at that point, all five starting spots had been uprooted from a year ago. With OTs Tyron Smith and Doug Free flipping sides, Costa out and two new guards in Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, it was a total makeover out there, Plus, that group had barely worked together.

This week will be critical in the unit's cohesion in preparing for Seattle.

There were little errors, such as timing and chemistry, and those tend to come with time and reps. But there were many penalties related to the OL play in the opener, QB Tony Romo was swarmed a few times and RB DeMarco Murray was bottled up in the backfield a number of times, often having to create his own yards.

However, there also were positives. Smith will get better after a rough first game at left tackle. Livings appeared to struggle early vs. the Giants but cleaned up a few things and made better blocks later on. The group has talent, and the Cowboys believe they can work with it. They just need more time together.