Comparing 2010 Cowboys Offensive Line Grades
I recently completed my 2010 Offensive Line Grades for the ‘Boys, and I wanted to compare them with ratings of DC Times reader/contributor Vince Grey. . .
Outstanding – One of the top players at his position in the NFL.
Superior – Well above average player, maybe a step below legit Pro Bowler. Well satisfied here.
Acceptable – Slightly above average player. Ideally, wouldn’t mind upgrading, but it’s very low priority.
Adequate – Average player. Not a liability, but not a strong point either. Would like to upgrade, but it’s not an absolute necessity.
Inferior – Slightly below average player. Needs to be upgraded soon, but it’s not an emergency.
Abominable – One of the worst. Top priority to upgrade this position as soon as possible.
LT Doug Free – “Acceptable” and doesn’t need a whole lot of improvement to move to “Superior,” at least as a pass blocker. I can easily see Free becoming one of the better LTs in the league very soon. I don’t think he’ll ever be an All-Pro, but he might well make a Pro Bowl or two at some point.
DC Times Grade: B- (83.0)
Comparison: I’d say Vince and I agree here on Free. While others saw Free as nearly flawless in 2010, that wasn’t the case. Free was good, but not outstanding. I personally think Free does have All-Pro potential and will continue to improve, but he isn’t there quite yet.
LG Kyle Kosier – “Acceptable.” Kyle Kosier is one of those guys who never “wow”s you, but he does his job and does it effectively. You’d like him to be a better run blocker and both he and Davis are painfully slow, but KK isn’t a problem for this line.
DC Times Grade: B (86.2)
Comparison: I’d also provide Kosier with an “Acceptable” rating on Vince’s scale. At his age, he probably won’t be rising up to “Superior,” and now is the time to look for Kosier’s future replacement. The Cowboys have done a poor job of letting players go before a steep decline in play.
C Andre Gurode – “Adequate.” Somehow Andre keeps making the Pro Bowl, which is either an indictment of Pro Bowl voting, or the sorry state of NFC center play. Gurode’s snapping, especially shotgun snapping, is actually “Inferior.” His line calls, especially for blitz pickups, are “Inferior” as well. His blocking, always his greatest strength, has slipped a lot, but I’d still rate him “Acceptable” in this area.
Thus, Gurode deserves an “Adequate” overall rating. Frankly, his poor snapping irritates me so much I would love to see him replaced now, but I’ll concede the line has more pressing issues this year. Still, I’d like to see Dallas grab a center prospect at some point and start grooming him as Andre’s replacement.
DC Times Grade: C+ (78.2)
Comparison: As Vince points out, Gurode isn’t a liability, but he’s also not a strength anymore. A guard/center like Florida’s Mike Pouncey would make a lot of sense in the second round.
RG Leonard Davis – “Adequate.” Going through a tough camp, getting in better shape, and playing with more fire might well bring Davis up to “Acceptable,” but frankly, he could also slide down to “Inferior” fairly quickly. It would strongly behoove the Cowboys to bring in some young, strong competition, either as a replacement or to coerce better play.
DC Times Grade: B- (80.6)
Comparison: I’d also give Davis an “Adequate” rating, although I think he’s close to being “Acceptable.” He isn’t likely to improve, however, so his replacement needs to be found soon.
RT Marc Colombo – “Abominable.” Not really much to say here. Colombo was possibly the worst starting RT in the league this past season. Just brutal. How bad? I wouldn’t even be comfortable with him as a backup. I’ve heard some say he was hurt, but I know of no major injuries he had that would have affected his play this badly.
Let’s put it this way: If Marc Columbo is still the starting RT for the Cowboys next season, then there’s no hope of the Cowboys’ offensive line improving as a unit. Marc’s play will absolutely drag this unit down if he’s in there.
DC Times Grade: D- (63.0)
Depth – “Inferior.” Alex Barron was a sad joke. Dallas got him for a guy they were going to cut anyway, and still overpaid. Montrae Holland is barely okay even as a backup. Phil Costa and Sam Young have potential, but that’s about it.
Comparison: I provided only Holland with a grade because of small sample sizes for the other players. I gave him a ‘C+’ (77.8). I think he’s worth keeping as a backup. Barron will be gone in 2011, and, like Vince stated, Costa and Young are pure potential at this point.