Newton: O-line sharp despite dominance

OXNARD, Calif. -- Nate Newton, the unofficial spokesman of one of the best offensive lines in NFL history, likes almost everything he's seen from the Dallas Cowboys' next potentially elite offensive line during training camp.

Except one thing: the O-line's competition.

"I have nothing against our defense, I really don't, but at this point they're two steps behind," said Newton, the six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard who has spent the last week watching the Cowboys' offensive line consistently dominate the defensive front seven. "This is what I like about Zack Martin, [Travis] Frederick, Tyron Smith, even [Ronald] Leary -- they're working on their technique. They're working hard every day.

"See, because you can get sloppy. When you're physically better than a person at this point, you can get sloppy, but these guys are not getting sloppy. They're fighting against themselves really. That just shows you the determination that these guys are trying to get somewhere. That's what I like about them."

The offensive line featuring Newton was a major part of the Cowboys' foundation during the franchise's glory years, when there were three championship parades in downtown Dallas during a four-year span.

The Cowboys believe they've built a line with that kind of potential, featuring three first-round picks from the last four drafts. Smith is a proven Pro Bowl left tackle still a few years shy of his prime. Frederick had a phenomenal rookie season at center. Martin has been impressive at right guard during his rookie camp.

"I haven't watched a lot of him, but from what I've seen, he has something to him," Newton said of Martin. "The other day [the defensive line] ran a game and his arms were locked down, but he head-butted the dude. I was like, Wow! I liked that. He's just mean. He looks the part. The dude is good.

"He's winning most of his battles, but what I like most -- and I will repeat this -- is these guys are working on their technique. Because when you get in a game and you get against people with equal or better talent, that is what's going to save you -- that and effort."