The Ravens Must Steal Blueprint From The 5-1 Cowboys


The Baltimore Ravens Once Schooled the NFL in the draft. Now the Ravens need to take notes from the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys.

The Baltimore Ravens have lost four straight games and the most difficult part of their schedule still lies ahead. Much in the way the three key principles to successful real estate investment are location, location, location; the three keys to a Ravens return to playoff contention are offensive line, offensive line, offensive line!

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While the defense has room for improvement this unit has done enough in the first seven games to win. The same cannot be said of the offense.  I have been a diehard fan of the franchise since its inception in 1996 and this year’s offense is by far the worse I have ever seen in purple and black.

The way I see it there are three main areas on the offense that must improve in order for the Ravens to be a contender. Joe Flacco’s accuracy has been deplorable and it must improve. The running game is anemic and while the Ravens have been able to connect on passes down field, the reality is the unit cannot score touchdowns.

The main culprit in poor play has been the offensive line.  Baltimore made a move in the right direction when they selected  Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame sixth overall.  Personally, I wanted Ezekiel Elliot for the Ravens but that would have been putting the cart before the horse. What Elliott enjoys in Dallas is exactly what the Ravens lack.

Dallas has three of the top offensive linemen in the league. At left tackle they have Tyron Smith. Travis Fredrick mans the center position and Zack Martin is the right guard. The Cowboys drafted Smith 9th overall in 2011.  Frederick was drafted in the 1st round in 2013. Martin was drafted 16th overall in the 2014 draft.

Are you starting to catch my drift?

Dallas has invested heavily in offensive linemen.  As a result, the Cowboys had the top rated line in both run, blocking, and pass protection in 2015. Dallas is once again the best offensive line in the league. Hence, rookie QB Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott are breaking franchise and league records.

On the flip side, the Ravens have drafted poorly for the last three years.  I don’t think anyone can dispute that.  No real thought for protecting Flacco has been given through the draft until this year.

Baltimore has invested heavily in Joe Flacco. Yet they have neglected to give him essential tools for success.

Granted, we have needs in the secondary and at linebacker but dominating up front should have been the number one priority for the Ravens.

The Ravens need a dynamic passing and rushing attack.  They will have neither one until they invest in quality offensive linemen. Getting Marshal Yanda and Stanley back will help immediately to make this team more competitive. However, it is not enough to put this franchise back among the league’s elite.

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We have been spoiled with playoff appearances year after year.  However, we will not return to the playoffs until we steal a page out of the Dallas Cowboys playbook and spend heavily on an offensive line. Like the Cowboys, we need a unit that will become a league powerhouse. It is only then that we will see Flacco’s potential and return to big time rushing yards week after week.