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Mailbag: Offensive Line Still Struggling? Justin Durant's Improvement?

The win against the Redskins was a good one. Having said that, is this offensive line a bit overrated when it comes to running the ball? Even though he has been awesome thus far, it does not seem like depending on Dak to throw the ball for 300 yards a game is a recipe for great success this year.

David: It's got to be disappointing for the line, because Elliott's fumbles put a damper on what was shaping up to be a successful day. Zeke's second half carries before his lost fumble went for nine, five, 21 and four. It certainly seemed like he was picking up a rhythm. I agree with you that this offense definitely doesn't want to lean on Dak too much. It's been a slow start for the run game, but there have been flashes that give hope that it'll improve.

Rob:I agree with you on the last point, but I'm not ready to say the line is an overrated run blocking unit after two games with a rookie quarterback who's seeing a stacked line of scrimmage. Actually, I thought the lanes were better for Ezekiel Elliott in Week 2, and the stats proved that (21 carries, 83 yards, touchdown). Two fumbles aside, Elliott was more patient in letting creases develop – maybe even a little too patient at times. The line's best strength, to me, has been the run game over pass protection. If Prescott continues to show he can beat you downfield as a passer, I think you'll see the run game loosen up more.

I think I read somewhere that someone thought Justin Durant had maybe lost a step or maybe wasn't the same player as before. But against Washington he flashed several times. I was wondering if maybe he was a little rusty not playing in preseason and needed games to establish a rhythm. What do you think?

David:I thought Durant looked solid when he got an opportunity in Week 1 against the Giants. Sunday's win was an even bigger improvement on that. I sincerely doubt the Cowboys will outright bench Anthony Hitchens. Durant has an injury history, and this defense needs all hands on deck as it is. But Durant has definitely proven he's capable of excelling in the middle linebacker spot. I hope he continues to see more opportunities.

Rob:I think there's something to that. Have to remember Durant didn't play much in preseason in part because he needed training camp to get acclimated to football again. He didn't sign with the Cowboys until July. The Falcons released him in February. He was a free agent throughout the spring and summer, meaning he wasn't part of a team's offseason program. He's been solid in two games and his fourth-down pass breakup late in the game Sunday was huge.

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