With so much change on the offensive line, not just in the offseason but continuing through its first month and a half, the play up front has been one of the year's main concerns.
So worrisome, even, that Jason Garrett a guy who doesn't speak in such terms, caught himself uttering the word on Monday, when asked to describe what a pleasant surprise the performance of the front five has been of late.
"If you were asking me prior to the game an area of concern that we had, they have a very good front," the Cowboys coach said, smiling. "They play good defense. I think if you look at their first seven games, they've played very well against some pretty good offensive teams, and I think it starts with their front. And for us to throw it 31 times in the game and have no sacks in the game, Tony (Romo) had pretty good protection throughout. And then to be able to run it for 150-plus, I think that was a good thing for our football team.
"It starts with those guys up front, I thought they played well together, and I think they'll play better and better as we go forward."
A strength of the line for several years before it went through 2011's upheaval, had been continuity. Similarly, the line has begun to come together in the last three weeks, with the same combination up front. After Montrae Holland settled in at left guard, the line has been more successful, helping DeMarco Murray produce the best three-game stretch of rushing in franchise history.
Sunday's 162-yard performance on the ground came against the best run defense in the league in terms of yards per play. Going back a week, to the blowout loss to Philadelphia, the unit wasn't so dominant, particularly in the passing game, so there's room to improve. The win over Seattle was definitely one to build on, however.
"I just think they need to continue to get better," Garrett said. "But we've certainly run the ball very well the last three weeks, and I think we also have pass protected very well."