Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on offensive line's struggles: 'Ultimately that falls on my shoulders'
By Rainer Sabin / Reporter
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10:00 AM on Sat., Feb. 25, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, the Cowboys announced that tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free would switch positions. It was the latest initiative the Cowboys have undertaken in their ongoing attempt to rebuild an offensive line that allowed 39 sacks last season and showed susceptibility to pressure.
The problems the Cowboys have experienced in pass protection is one of the primary reasons why Dallas has failed to make the playoffs each of the last two seasons, according to owner Jerry Jones.
"I can say the offensive line has been a significant contributor to us being a mediocre team," Jones said. ".... It helped create ambiguity at times for our quarterback and our awareness that he had guys who could come free or someone up there get beat. When that's on the quarterback's mind, then he makes adjustments."
Last year, the unit charged with shielding Tony Romo was overhauled. Before releasing veterans Leonard Davis , Marc Colombo and center Andre Gurode , the Cowboys took an unprecedented step in Jones' tenure as owner, selecting a lineman in the first round when they drafted Smith. They then replaced Gurode with second-year player Phil Costa, who joined the team in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. They also installed rookie Bill Nagy at left guard.