Originally Posted by StanleySpadowski
Most of the line problems started with the center. What Cook did was admirable but he wasn't very good. His problems with the cadence also played a huge role in the tackles either false starting or being late off the snap which lead to Free's confidence getting rattled but even so, Free ended the year slightly higher than Smith in my gradings.
Bernadeau played better at center than at guard but Cook was a better option than Dockery so he played there.
Livings tailed off at the end of the season but with his surgery, I think we know why as his knee got progressively worse.
Parnell's play really surprised me. He was almost as good as either of the other two tackles.
Dallas' biggest need is at guard but not necassarily a starting guard just anyone who gives them the flexibility to slide players around and keep Dockery off the team. The only thing I can think of was that Holland let himself go again.
[View Full Quote]There's a lot of ifs with the current OL roster, If Smith can step up his game, if Free is closer to weeks 15-17 than weeks 8-10, if Costa and Livings can get through a season healthy, if Bernadeau can fire off at guard like he can at center....
I'd also add I that I was wrong about the impact losing Bennett had. I feel he was overrated as a blocker but Phillips and Hanna were next to awful so he was missed. Witten had a particularly bad year himself.
Most people won't want to hear this but next year's OL is going to look very similar to last year's projected starters unless someone too good to pass up drops to them in the draft or Free is let go for cap purposes. I would wager that a blocking TE and a RB are going to be the offensive picks in the draft and probably rightfully so.
But it's not going to matter unless the defense starts forcing turnovers.
I think you're correct concerning a blocking TE. I'd bet Garrett really tries to get one this year, whether FA or the Draft.