When the Cowboys report to training camp on July 22 in Oxnard, Calif., several questions will still need to be answered.
The staff writers at DallasCowboys.com – Rowan Kavner, David Helman, Nick Eatman and Bryan Broaddus – will attempt to answer these questions before the start of training camp. The questions will vary in importance, with the most pressing topics getting brought up in the days closest to camp.
Today, the staff sizes up the offensive line now that
16) Does Zack Martin now make this a dominating offensive line?
Rowan Kavner – I’m going to stop short of dominant, mostly because it takes a little while for NFL players to make their mark. Could it be dominant soon? Absolutely. But the truly elite lines can generate push consistently and boast a running attack other defenses fear. The Cowboys aren’t quite there yet, even with all the improvements and the addition of Martin, who should help. We’re not far removed from the line being a weak point of the team, and even last year there were some breakdowns.
David Helman: He had better, given the way we have hyped up this line and the picks the Cowboys have spent to improve it. I think Martin is a definite improvement over either
Nick Eatman: To me, that’s a question the War Room had to answer before the pick. It’s nothing you need to figure out right now. After all of the evaluations from the scouts and coaches, that’s something that gets asked back in late April and in May. If we take this Notre Dame lineman, are we that much better now up front? I would imagine the common answer was yes. Now, are they dominating? That remains to be seen. Because even last year we saw the line get dominated in the trenches. That Redskins game – the line got dominated on two straight running plays, which nearly cost them the game – and would’ve been the same, and maybe some of the coaching jobs as well. This line was better in 2013 but not dominant when it was time to run the ball. So if Martin can help them that much, coupled with Frederick’s expected improvement, then I would think the line can be in the “dominating” category. We haven’t seen it yet but if Martin is anywhere close to expected, then it should be a position of strength now.Bryan Broaddus: I would not use the word dominant here, but better for sure. By putting Martin at right guard it now means that Mackenzy Bernadeau or Ronald Leary will be in a battle for the starting spot on that left side and the winner of that spot will have earned it through their good play and that is a positive. A situation to keep an eye on during training camp is the play of