(Editor's Note: This is the eighth of an 11-part series analyzing every position on the Cowboys roster, providing a quick look back before addressing the needs of each spot on the field and how it can be improved heading into the 2014 season. Today we examine the interior offensive linemen.)
Pressing Matters: For the first time in a while, there really aren’t many. The Cowboys could try to continue to upgrade one of their guard spots, but their entire starting group on the line from last season will be back. That’s a group that helped pave the way for
2013 Evaluation: The Cowboys couldn’t have possibly hoped for any more than they got out of rookie center
Need More From … : It’s difficult to call out anyone on the interior of the line, but the Cowboys could probably still get more from their guards. I don’t know that we’ve seen Leary fully healthy yet – nor do I know that his knees will ever be fully healthy, but his best may still be to come in the future and he could still work on limiting penalties. On the other side, it wasn’t long ago that Bernadeau was a backup. As great as the interior line looked for most of the year, there were occasional struggles and times they got hit back particularly near the goal line. They played well and their strong performances should be noted, but there were stretches where both spots could have done better.
Upgrades Needed: The only upgrades needed would be for depth purposes at guard. That’s assuming
By The Numbers:
- Bernadeau started 11 games yet drew just one penalty. That’s two fewer than he had last year. Frederick only had three penalties in his first 16 starts of his career.
- DeMarco Murray finished with three more rushing touchdowns in 2013 than he had his previous two seasons combined. That had a lot to do with the push from the interior.
- Frederick became the first rookie in team history to start all 16 games at center.
Bryan Broaddus on the Cowboys’ interior linemen:
Count me as one of those so-called experts that was beyond shocked at the selection when Jerry Jones traded back in the 2013 NFL Draft and selected Travis Frederick in the first round. In the days leading up to the draft, I thought center was a position of need, but I was more willing to address it in… (Read more here)