The Cowboys have been making strides in their attempt to keep up with the league’s elite offenses in the offseason.
But they also haven’t made a ton of moves to keep pace.
So why is that?
Is the Cowboys offense still the best in the NFL?
How will this season go for the offense?
The Dallas Cowboys had a great 2016 season.
The team posted the most points in the league (18,906) for the fourth consecutive season.
But it also finished the year with an offense that ranked last in yards per play (5.8) and third in yards on offense (7.3).
In 2016, the Cowboys ranked 24th in yards and 23rd in yards from scrimmage.
So how did the offense do in 2017?
In 2018, the Dallas offense ranked 25th in total offense (8,072 yards) and 20th in passing yards (3,664).
In 2017, the offense ranked 21st in total yards (9,894) and 19th in pass yards (2,976).
In 2018, they were 27th in points per game (3.5) and 27th when it came to points scored per game (.516).
In 2018 the Cowboys had the sixth-best offensive line in the NBA.
The Cowboys rank in the top 25 in offensive efficiency (.739), total defense (.817), points allowed per game (-.539), sacks per game (+.098), yards per carry (8.2) and yards per attempt (9.2).
So why are the Cowboys not competing with the best offenses in football?
In 2017, there were only two offensive lines in the entire league that ranked higher than the Dallas offensive line.
The Houston Texans’ line ranked sixth in yards (5,076) and fifth in rushing yards (1,914).
The Minnesota Vikings’ line was 13th in rushing offense (3:59 per carry).
The New York Giants’ line had the fifth-highest rushing offense in the history of the league, but the Cowboys rank last in rushing touchdowns allowed (.639).
So the Cowboys have one of the worst lines in football.
In 2018 the Houston Texans ranked 25 in total defense and 25th rushing defense.
The Cleveland Browns were 18th in defense and 29th in the rush defense.
So what does that mean for the Dallas line in 2018?
With the addition of former first-round pick Tyron Smith and free agent signee Jared Crick, the team will be in better shape with the 2017 season under its belt.
And the additions of rookie guard Alex Mack and third-round rookie right guard/tackle Tyron Baptiste could help the Cowboys with pass protection.
But there’s a lot of competition for playing time for the Cowboys.
The next step for the offensive line will be to make plays.
The Dallas offensive staff is led by right guard Joe Barksdale, who won the 2016 Rookie of the Year award and the 2016 Offensive Rookie of Year award.
The third-year guard, along with quarterback Dak Prescott, was the best quarterback in the country last season.
Prescott was one of just two quarterbacks to throw for more than 1,000 yards and average at least three touchdowns in the season.
He was also the first to throw six touchdown passes in a season in league history.
Barksdale is one of those guys that’s going to get more playing time this season.
With the Cowboys having a young team coming in this season, the offensive staff will need to be prepared to play with more talent.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding quarterback Dak, Barksara will have to be the guy who is in the pocket.
Barksala is one who will be asked to play multiple positions in the passing game.
And if Barksalas accuracy drops, the other offensive linemen will have an easier time protecting Prescott.
The other offensive line has to be on the same page.
There are two players who are going to have to compete with Prescott to be considered for the starting job.
Barring an injury to one of them, it is likely that the first-year right guard will be playing more snaps with Prescott.
But that will change if the second-year left guard can stay healthy.
The offensive line also needs to be ready to handle the transition from the rookie to the veteran.
The veteran will be used more in pass protection this season than in run blocking.
With a veteran in the backfield, the line will have a greater chance of success in the run game.
With all of that in mind, let’s look at how the Cowboys are performing right now.
The Cowboys are the only team in the modern era that ranked in the bottom five in points scored and yards from total offense.
In 2017 the Cowboys were the second worst offense in NFL history in scoring points (21,871).
In 2019, the defense was 27th at 3.7 yards