With Jordan Mills addition, Cowboys line deep, young, experienced at once

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have built an offensive line that makes almost every other team in the NFL envious.

In 2011 the Cowboys took Tyron Smith in the first round and he has been named to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons. In 2013, they took Travis Frederick in the first round and he was named to the Pro Bowl last year. Last year they took Zack Martin in the first round and he was named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

But the building process never ends.

In the spring they added a first-round talent in La'el Collins with a fully guaranteed three-year deal as an undrafted free agent. Over the weekend they added tackle Jordan Mills, who started 29 games in two seasons with the Chicago Bears, off the waiver wire.

Of the nine offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, only right tackle Doug Free (31) is over 30.

Smith, Frederick and Martin are 24. Left guard Ronald Leary is 25. Collins is 22. Mills is 24. Darrion Weems is 27. Mackenzy Bernadeau is 29.

The Cowboys line is not only young but has a chance to stay together for a good amount of time. Leary is a restricted free agent after this season. Mills is signed through 2016. The Cowboys have Frederick’s rights through 2017 and Martin’s through 2018. Collins can be a restricted free agent after 2017. Free is signed through 2017.

“It’s the best O-line in the league from my standpoint,” Mills said. “To have Zack Martin, Ron, Doug Free and everybody else, this line works hard and there is a reason why they’re the best O-line in the league. To be here and learn under them it’s going to be great.”

Mills, who was a fifth-round pick by the Bears in 2013, remembers a call from the Cowboys on draft weekend, so they had interest in him coming into the NFL.

“He is two years in, has a number of starts playing tackle in this league,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He became available. You are always trying to upgrade your team, so we brought him in here.”

Mills will have to get up to speed quickly to take the swing tackle spot from Weems. He said there are some similarities to what he was taught in Chicago but he needs time.

“Other guys have been here since OTAs and getting here it’s going to be a little tough, just like I told one of the personnel guys, ‘You’re just running out there like a chicken with his head cut off, just trying to get everything down,’” Mills said. “But it’s a slow process. You have to be patient and stay in your playbook and listen to the coaches and veterans who have been here.”