Jerry Jones the owner is placing the blame for a struggling offensive line on Jerry Jones the general manager. During an interview Thursday with NFL.com, Jones said the offensive line is “probably where I’ve let us down most.”
“The O-line, if I look back the last two years, if I had some mulligans or some re-dos, I might’ve done that differently,” he told the website’s Albert Breer. “We’re trying to do that this year.”
Over the last two seasons, the Cowboys have failed to put together a line that can adequately protect quarterback Tony Romo. The Cowboys have some stability on the outside with tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free but the interior was arguably one of the worst groups in the NFL in 2011.
Phil Costa improved later in the 2011 season, but made several mistakes in his first year at center. He has been sidelined with a lower back injury during much of training camp.
Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings were signed in free agency to solidify the guard positions but both have also struggled to stay healthy. In addition, the Cowboys added one of the top line coaches in the league, Bill Callahan, to improve the group this off-season.
Judging by the team’s preseason opener — a 3-0 victory over Oakland — the protection hasn’t improved. Romo was left scrambling for his life on a couple of occasions and the running game was non-existent with the first team offense. Starting running back DeMarco Murray finished with no yards on two carries. Felix Jones managed four yards on two rushing attempts.
But if there is any type of immediate solution out there, Jones seems to be ready to act on it. After all, he prides himself on never attempting to re-build.
“What we do with the Cowboys, using the analogy of going to Las Vegas and putting it all on the table, we’re shoving it all out there,” he said. “I shove it all out there with the Cowboys every year.”