The Cowboys’ hopes of making the playoffs last season took a serious hit when the team went from 5-3 to 5-6 in a losing streak that started with a 27-7 loss to the Falcons.
Dallas allowed eight sacks in that game and six came from defensive end Adrian Clayborn as he dominated his matchups against tackles Chaz Green and Byron Bell. Those players were in the lineup because Tyron Smith missed the game with an injury and memories of a failure to cover for injuries returned this week with center Travis Frederick being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.
On Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that the team focused on making sure they weren’t in the same straits again this year.
“You do lose people … you’re supposed to make adjustments, we didn’t adjust,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “That really, really was a a focal point of our offseason. Just to remember … We don’t want to have another Atlanta happen to us. ‘The Burning of Atlanta.’ That was called ‘the Burning of Atlanta.’ Gone with the wind.”
The Cowboys brought in a couple of new offensive linemen, but Frederick’s replacement Joe Looney is not one of them. The team also changed offensive line coaches, although there’s only so much you can do if there are multiple missing pieces at one time. Right guard Zack Martin and right tackle La'el Collins have also missed time this week, although both say they’ll be fine for the regular season.