IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have won nine games this season for a variety of reasons, but many of them stem from the offensive line, which has helped paved the way for the NFL's leading rusher DeMarco Murray, who has a legitimate shot for the franchise's first 2,000-yard season.
But in the four losses, including the last one against the Eagles on Thanksgiving, the offensive line did not play as advertised. The Cowboys were stuffed by Philly two Thursdays ago, rushing for 93 yards, the second-lowest single-game output of the year, behind only the 92 against Arizona. In both games, the Cowboys found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
"It starts with us," guard Ron Leary said. "We know we have to play better."
Since the matchup is still relatively fresh, Leary said it's hard for the entire offense to change its plan. But aside from a few common wrinkles here and there, the Cowboys will stick to what get them this far.
"We're going to do some things differently, but mainly we just have to play better," Leary said. "We didn't play good enough on Thanksgiving we'll correct the personal things. It was a lot of things. We just didn't play Cowboys football. And the guys in this locker room know that."
Against the Eagles, the Cowboys had trouble blocking the interior linemen of Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton and Bennie Logan, who had a few choice words for the Cowboys' offensive line before the game, stating there was "nothing special" about the O-line. Logan added the only change from last year was one player (Zack Martin). But afterwards, it was Logan who had the last laugh as they held the Cowboys to just 267 total yards and a season-low 10 points.
"They're a good defensive front. But we're a good offense also," Leary said. "We're going to be doing what we've done all season."
The Cowboys did respond seven days later with a 194-yard rushing performance against the Bears, thanks to a season-high 179 for Murray.