Cowboys News: OL Coach Paul Alexander Fired, Marc Colombo to Replace

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2018

This is a 2018 photo of Paul Alexander of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team. This image reflects the Dallas Cowboys active roster as of Thursday, April 26, 2018 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys sit in third place in the NFC East at 3-4 and are making some changes before the season's second half.

According to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, the Cowboys fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander and replaced him with Marc Colombo. Colombo, who was an offensive lineman for the Cowboys from 2005 through 2010, has served as an assistant offensive line coach since the 2016 campaign.

Alexander was named to the position this past offseason after being a member of the Cincinnati Bengals staff for 24 years.

"While approaching the midpoint of the season, and going through an overall evaluation of our entire operation during the bye week, we felt that this move would serve the best interests of our team moving forward," head coach Jason Garrett said in a statement, via Archer.

Archer noted this is the first time Garrett has changed the coaching staff during the season since he became the full-time head coach in 2011.

The line has struggled to replace four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, who was placed on injured reserve with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Archer pointed out quarterback Dak Prescott has been sacked 23 times in just seven games after he was sacked 25 times in 2016 and 32 times in 2017.

Football Outsiders ranks Dallas' offensive line a solid but unspectacular 13th in the league in run blocking but a lackluster 27th in pass protection.

The combination of the passable run blocking and Ezekiel Elliott's individual talent means the Cowboys are fourth in the league in rushing yards per game. However, Prescott hasn't had consistent time to throw, and a wide receiver corps that no longer includes Dez Bryant has less time to get open.

As a result, the Cowboys are an abysmal 29th in the league in passing yards per game.

It will be up to Colombo to help turn it around as the team looks to finish with a winning record for the third straight season.

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