5 primary factors behind the Commanders offensive line's demise in 2023

The downward trend has some mitigating factors attached.

Nick Gates
Nick Gates / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Commanders' poor player relations

I won’t dwell on this last one. I even hesitate to bring it up. But it’s important if you want to understand how the Washington Commanders ended up here.

Like Washington, the Dallas Cowboys have only drafted three offensive linemen in the first two days of the draft since 2017. It’s true that one of them was a first-rounder, unlike the Commanders, but the total is the same.

But the Cowboys have something Washington does not have. They have two old veterans - both first-round draft picks from the early 2010s - who are still playing at a high level.

Tyron Smith gets hurt a lot - so does Zack Martin. But both are significantly better than anyone the Commanders currently roll out on their protection that's for sure.

Of course, they did have those players. Trent Williams and Brendan Scherff are the last two first-round picks the Commanders spent on the line. And both are still starting in the league. Just not for Washington.

The previous administration ran such a dysfunctional franchise that both star players jumped ship for greener pastures as soon as they could. A sorry state of affairs.

Williams and Scherff will probably be starting for teams in the playoffs this year. Washington won’t be there, in part because they don’t seem to value high-level talent on the offensive line. Hopefully, the new ownership group will correct that problem.