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Frederick: Cowboys 'not close' to best O-line ever

The Cowboys might have come across as drunk on their own hype when freshly signed rookie La'el Collins declared this year's Dallas offensive line the "best in NFL history."

Whether it was aimed at Collins or not, Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick delivered a stern message and a refreshing sense of historical perspective in a Thursday radio appearance with KRLD-FM in Dallas.

"Anybody that's making that assumption should study more about who the greatest offensive line is and what that's like," Frederick said, via The Dallas Morning News. "We're not there yet. ... We're never gonna be as good as we wanna be. We're not even close. There's always a technique issue. Every single play."

The Cowboys did boast one of the NFL's best offensive lines last year, rivaling a Ravens unit that featured road-grading guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele in addition to top-notch pass protection.

But this Cowboys offensive line has yet to even surpass the star-studded "Great Wall of Dallas" line of the early-to-mid '90s as the most dominant in franchise history.

The 1995 Super Bowl front boasted Hall of Fame guard Larry Allen, left tackle Mark Tuinei, guard Nate Newton and center Ray Donaldson. All four blockers made the Pro Bowl that season. Right tackle Erik Williams was on pace to join Allen in Canton before a horrific car crash derailed his own career.

Here's a history lesson for Collins on the NFL's greatest offensive lines:

»*Early '60s Green Bay Packers:* Right tackle Forrest Gregg was voted to the NFL's 75th anniversary team and right guard Jerry Kramer was voted to the 50th anniversary team. Center Jim Ringo was voted first-team all-decade for the 1960s and joined Gregg in the Hall of Fame. Left tackle Bob Skoronski earned a Pro Bowl nod for the 1962 championship season, blocking for Hall of Famers Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung.

»*Early '70s Miami Dolphins:* Carried by dominant blocking and a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, the Dolphins became the only undefeated team in NFL history despite starting backup quarterback Earl Morrall for 14 games. Center Jim Langer and guard Larry Little made the all-decade team for the 1970s. Guard Bob Kuechenberg has been a Hall of Fame finalist several times. Tackle Norm Evans started for 10 years in Miami, earning a pair of Pro Bowl berths.

»*1970s Oakland Raiders:* Right tackle Bob Brown, left tackle Art Shell, guard Gene Upshaw and center Jim Otto are all in the Hall of Fame. The latter three are in the discussion for the best at their respective position in NFL history.

»*1970s Buffalo Bills:* Christened "The Electric Company" because they turned on "The Juice," O.J. Simpson, this offensive line paved the way for a 3,000-yard team rushing performance in 1973. Simpson became the game's first 2,000-yard rusher, accomplishing the feat in a 14-game season.

»*1970s St. Louis Cardinals:* Perhaps the nastiest offensive line in history, this group is renowned for popularizing power lifting as a training technique. Pro Bowl guard Conrad Dober set the tone, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated with a headline that read, "Pro Football's Dirtiest Player." Before he was a famous broadcaster, Dan Dierdorf was a Hall of Fame tackle, going entire seasons without allowing a sack.

»*1980s Washington Redskins:* Famously nicknamed "The Hogs," this line got down and dirty to block for Hall of Fame power back John Riggins in Joe Gibbs' high-powered offense. Guard Russ Grimm is in the Hall of Fame, tackle Joe Jacoby was an all-decade pick and center Jeff Bostic and Mark May made it to the Pro Bowl.

»*1980s Cincinnati Bengals:* An underappreciated group, the mid-to-late '80s Bengals blockers struck awe in opponents with their monstrous size. Anchored by Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz -- widely viewed as the premier left tackle in history -- and four-time Pro Bowl guard Max Montoya, this offensive line kept 1988 MVP Boomer Esiason clean in the pocket and opened wide lanes for James Brooks and Ickey Woods in Sam Wyche's unstoppable no-huddle attack.

»*Early '00s Kansas City Chiefs:* The best offensive line I have witnessed this century, generating outstanding production from Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. Left tackle Willie Roaf and right guard Will Shields are already in the Hall of Fame. Left guard Brian Waters went to the Pro Bowl six times. Right tackle John Tait and center Casey Wiegman were solid starters. This group was poetry in motion, giving Holmes the three steps he needed for "flawless synchronicity" off the snap.

More great offensive lines: 1940s Chicago Bears, 1950s Cleveland Browns, 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, late '70s Los Angeles Rams, late '80s Houston Oilers, 1990s Minnesota Vikings, late '90s Denver Broncos, 2000s Seattle Seahawks

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