Cowboys center Travis Frederick thinks the offensive line has displayed some positives three weeks into the regular season.
"I think that we’ve shown some good things," Frederick said Wednesday. "We, I think, have improved from last year in certain areas and showed areas that we need to improve on."
One area would be pre-snap penalties. Dallas is tied with Oakland for the most false starts with nine, more than halfway towards matching their 2014 total of 17.
"Pre-snap penalties are things we need to avoid and continue to work on," said Frederick.
In the preseason, the offensive line got little work together as right guard Zack Martin sat out the entire preseason with a neck stinger, and left tackle Tyron Smith saw limited action as well. Week One against the Giants was the unit’s first time working together in 2015, and they helped quarterback Tony Romo engineer a 27-26 comeback victory. However, Romo broke his collarbone on a sack-fumble the next week in Philadelphia where the offensive line also took part in six pre-snap penalties. Nonetheless, Frederick doesn’t believe the lack of preseason time together has been detrimental.
"I don’t think so," Frederick said. "I think what helps us as a group is we played all year together minus a couple games, guys banged up here and there. I know what to expect from all these guys, and they know what to expect from me. So, I think that we were okay not having a preseason game."
Where the offensive line’s improvement appears most noticeable is in the running game. Last week against Atlanta, Dallas running backs combined for 127 rushing yards and all of the team’s four touchdowns. Through the first three games, the Cowboys have gained 316 yards on the ground, the third-most since 2010.
"We just need to continue to work together and keep setting the bar higher and higher," said Frederick. "You saw in the first half of that game things were going well. To be honest, we weren’t playing that well as an offensive line. We weren’t working out clean on things, but things were working. And that came down to the guys outside doing real well blocking their guys down the field.
"It comes down the tight end blocking an extra guy. It comes down to the running back making a guy miss. So, we just need to continue to improve on the little things and I think things will continue to move forward."