Jerry Jones surprised Cowboys offensive line was rebuilt quickly

The Cowboys finished 2010 with a disappointing 6-10 record. The once-formidable offensive line had given up 31 sacks and allowed quarterback Tony Romo to take a clean hit from Giants linebacker Michael Boley that broke his left collarbone. Not to mention, time was not on the unit’s side as the average age was 31 years old.

A rebuild was in order, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was surprised at how dominant the offensive line has become four years later after spending three of the team’s four first-round picks on the offensive line.

"Your best values are from the draft," Jones told "The G-Bag Nation" on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] on Friday. "And when you’re, for instance, trying to build and offensive line from the draft and you’re trying to go right to the very top, that takes a little time. And I like to have never thought that we were going to get where we are today with our offensive line. That took three drafts using a number one to get there."

Since 1990, there have been 15 teams to have taken linemen in back-to-back drafts, and the Cowboys are the third team to do so in that span. 11/15 of the teams that employed the back-to-back linemen strategy ended up winning a playoff game within two seasons.

Dallas is also just the third case since 1990 of a team taking a first-round offensive lineman three out of four drafts. The last team to do so were the Green Bay Packers, who built the line in place to help win Super Bowl XXXI.

However, using premium picks isn’t always essential in rebuilding an offensive line, according to Jones.

"Now, it doesn’t necessarily need to be number ones, but you certainly have to have the quality," said Jones. "You have to start someplace, and I’m glad that we paid the price in terms of the years of the draft and where we are today. And I think, yes, teams will look at it."

Teams won’t look at taking an offensive linemen in the first round because it is a Cowboys strategy. Rather, they will do so because it appears to be one of the strategies of winning teams for the past two decades or more in the NFL.

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