Posted: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013
The disappointment over Sunday's loss to the Chargers still lingers, which makes it especially hard to look back at Sunday's game with enough critical distance. Yet that's exactly what we'll try to do as we review the Pro Football Focus player grades to see how the individual efforts of the players graded out.
Us usual, follow the link for PFF's detailed FAQ, which should answer the vast majority of questions about their grading system. PFF also have their own review of the game up, and that is definitely worth a read, this time they focus on the Lee, carter and the offensive line, and we'll start with a review of the offensive line as well.
We noted last week that the offensive line had been steadily improving, and that continued against the Chargers:
|Cowboys Offensive Line||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
Jermey Parnell came in for two snaps to spell Tyron Smith and promptly got flagged for holding. His -0.9 grade for two snaps in pass protection don't significantly alter the overall picture. The Cowboys O-line played a very nice game, and Jason Garret said he was pleased with the performance:
"I thought they played well. We ran for nearly 6 yards a carry. We blocked a front that has traditionally rushed the passer well," he said. "There are some matchup problems that those guys can present. Dwight Freeney is a great player, and has been a great player, in this league for a long time. I thought we blocked him well. I thought we blocked some of the other guys well. Tony had time to throw the football."
This is very good news for the Cowboys, as the offensive line had been considered a major weakness heading into the season. Here's how the linemen graded out individually:
|T. Smith||R. Leary||T. Frederick||B. Waters||D. Free|
Note that Brian Waters played every single snap, relegating Mackenzy Bernadeau to backup duty. Note also that Travis Frederick had his second consecutive game with a strong positive grade, giving him a season grade of +1.9. At the quarter mark of the season, that makes Frederick the highest graded 2013 first-round rookie offensive lineman. Think about that for a minute.
Here's a look at where each Cowboys offensive lineman ranks versus his NFL peers at his position after four games:
|POS||Player||Position Rank||Qualifying Players||Percentile||Season Grade|
Here are some of the high- and lowlights from the skill position players:
We'll have a review of the defensive grades sometime tomorrow.