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Dallas Cowboys' offensive line is back to its best

The Dallas Cowboys are off to a thundering start to the 2019 NFL season. Atop the NFC East with a perfect 3-0 record, the Kellen Moore-led offense has made waves around the league, with the Cowboys currently ranking first among the league's 32 teams in team offense grade — almost 10 grading points clear of the second-place Baltimore Ravens.

The play-action-heavy pass attack has allowed a top-three quarterback in Dak Prescott, a top-five wide receiver in Michael Gallup and a top-10 running back in Ezekiel Elliott to thrive through the first three games of the season, but lost in the excitement around those franchise cornerstones has been the work of an offensive line that looks like it's back to being one of the league's best.

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From 2013 to 2017, the Dallas offensive line was thought of by many of one of the decade's best outfits, and they were the only offensive line in the NFL to record top-five marks in both pass-blocking grade (87.6, 4th) and run-blocking grade (90.9, 2nd) over that five-year stretch. Revered around the league for their stout pass protection, they finished in the top-10 in team pass-blocking efficiency in four of those five seasons, allowing pressure on just 23.4% of pass-blocking snaps and allowing a knockdown (sack or hit) on only 5.6% of snaps, fifth and second, respectively, among the NFL's 32 offensive lines. This helped generate a successful pass play (play that generated a positive EPA) on 49.3% of dropbacks, a figure that ranked third among NFL teams.

Over that five-year period, only the Oakland Raiders (just 27.2% of snaps) had a lower pass-block loss percentage than the Cowboys (28.2%), and Dallas' 660 total pressures allowed ranked first among teams by a considerable margin.

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