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Do Cowboys need to consider firing OL coach Paul Alexander?

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  • Do Cowboys need to consider firing OL coach Paul Alexander?

    By: K.D. Drummond | 2 hours ago

    Thus far, the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 season has been a herky-jerky ride that has left the organization at a crossroads.

    Does Dallas need to consider firing OL coach Paul Alexander?

    The Cowboys were credited with having one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in football leading into the year. However, their performance so far this season has not lived up to the lofty national reputation from pundits. There are indications the decision to part ways with former coach Frank Pollack and the subsequent hiring of Alexander from Cincinnati has backfired somewhat in that the regression is palpable and obvious to see each week.

    This season, the line is ranked just No. 13 in Adjusted Line Yards, a measure of how much impact the group has on the team’s rushing attack, and all the way down at No. 27 in Adjusted Sack Rate, which puts QB takedowns in relation to drop backs.

    Last year they were fourth and 15th, respectively. In 2016 they were fourth and 13th.

    Conversely, the Bengals moved from No. 20 in 2017 to currently No. 8 in adjusted sack rate with Alexander gone. They were No. 26 in 2016. Their new OL coach? Pollack.

    In fairness, coping with the loss of All-Pro center Travis Frederick has been difficult. That stated, there still is the deterioration of the line’s ability to hold the point versus the pass rush and that has led to anxiety from their quarterback. The run game has also been impacted in terms of consistent productivity. Part of the struggles could be pinned directly to Alexander who changed the blocking scheme from Pollack’s zone preference to his own, power blocking scheme. Tyron Smith has looked very ordinary with his technique and even the nearly flawless Zack Martin has appeared mortal at times.

    To this observer, the line looks uncomfortable and disjointed with aspects of the power scheme, namely down blocking and gap assignments. The team does have an in-house option in Marc Colombo who could be elevated and perhaps bring back the zone concepts the linemen appear to prefer.
    defense wins championships

  • #2
    Originally posted by p1_ View Post
    By: K.D. Drummond | 2 hours ago

    Thus far, the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 season has been a herky-jerky ride that has left the organization at a crossroads.

    Does Dallas need to consider firing OL coach Paul Alexander?

    The Cowboys were credited with having one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in football leading into the year. However, their performance so far this season has not lived up to the lofty national reputation from pundits. There are indications the decision to part ways with former coach Frank Pollack and the subsequent hiring of Alexander from Cincinnati has backfired somewhat in that the regression is palpable and obvious to see each week.

    This season, the line is ranked just No. 13 in Adjusted Line Yards, a measure of how much impact the group has on the team’s rushing attack, and all the way down at No. 27 in Adjusted Sack Rate, which puts QB takedowns in relation to drop backs.

    Last year they were fourth and 15th, respectively. In 2016 they were fourth and 13th.

    Conversely, the Bengals moved from No. 20 in 2017 to currently No. 8 in adjusted sack rate with Alexander gone. They were No. 26 in 2016. Their new OL coach? Pollack.

    In fairness, coping with the loss of All-Pro center Travis Frederick has been difficult. That stated, there still is the deterioration of the line’s ability to hold the point versus the pass rush and that has led to anxiety from their quarterback. The run game has also been impacted in terms of consistent productivity. Part of the struggles could be pinned directly to Alexander who changed the blocking scheme from Pollack’s zone preference to his own, power blocking scheme. Tyron Smith has looked very ordinary with his technique and even the nearly flawless Zack Martin has appeared mortal at times.

    To this observer, the line looks uncomfortable and disjointed with aspects of the power scheme, namely down blocking and gap assignments. The team does have an in-house option in Marc Colombo who could be elevated and perhaps bring back the zone concepts the linemen appear to prefer.
    Nah it's not his fault that the best player on the line got some obscure illness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
      Nah it's not his fault that the best player on the line got some obscure illness.
      Or that he's having to play an undersized rookie, or that Tyron might have lost a half-step.
      2014=2009, 2015=2010?

      The Garrett Song

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chocolate Lab View Post
        Or that he's having to play an undersized rookie, or that Tyron might have lost a half-step.
        And Looney is playing I think better than we all could have expected. He needs to get the road thing figured the fuck out but that's about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          you have to admit, this thing ain't what it used to be. It doesnt help Zeke or Dak much lately.
          defense wins championships

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by p1_ View Post
            you have to admit, this thing ain't what it used to be. It doesnt help Zeke or Dak much lately.
            Some games it does. Against the Jags our pass protection couldn't be better. Against the Lions our run blocking was unstoppable. The run blocking was great against the Seahawks.

            It's just so inconsistent.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
              Nah it's not his fault that the best player on the line got some obscure illness.
              You will not be receiving any props on this post from Zack Martin.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by p1_ View Post
                you have to admit, this thing ain't what it used to be. It doesnt help Zeke or Dak much lately.
                No, but that's the way it goes in this league and sport. That's why you can't piss away years where you have the best OL in football -- because those times won't last forever.
                2014=2009, 2015=2010?

                The Garrett Song

                Comment


                • #9
                  Every offensive line endures injuries or shake-ups over time. I notice that despite an offensive line that's undergone a fair amount of reshuffling, the Skins offensive line, under Bill Callahan, did a decent job of stuffing the Dallas pass rush and opening holes. Callahan lost a power struggle Jason Carot and was shown the door.

                  Now they get swap Pollack for Alexander and the performance of the two lines gets reversed. Alexander subs his scheme for Pollack's and things go to to shit. That'a gotta be the coaching.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deadrise View Post
                    Every offensive line endures injuries or shake-ups over time. I notice that despite an offensive line that's undergone a fair amount of reshuffling, the Skins offensive line, under Bill Callahan, did a decent job of stuffing the Dallas pass rush and opening holes. Callahan lost a power struggle Jason Carot and was shown the door.

                    Now they get swap Pollack for Alexander and the performance of the two lines gets reversed. Alexander subs his scheme for Pollack's and things go to to shit. That'a gotta be the coaching.
                    Well I'd trade Callahan back if I could. I think he is excellent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cowboysrock55 View Post
                      Well I'd trade Callahan back if I could. I think he is excellent.
                      They ran well against us, and David Irving got a sack that was more of a tackle behind the line. We didn't get to Smith at all.
                      defense wins championships

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Why did they let Pollack go in the first place?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by deadrise View Post
                          Why did they let Pollack go in the first place?
                          Last year's scapegoat.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think this is all on Alexander, the OL is depleted by injury or just plain bad. It certainly isn't the OL from last season or the season before.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kind of pisses me off that KD took my article and split it into several parts and basically said he wrote it.

                              All four of the pieces were from my article.

                              https://cowboyswire.usatoday.com/201...l-2018-record/

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