SAN DIEGO -- The Dallas Cowboys have talked about building their success around the offensive line, which means running the ball more.
Thursday’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers was a good start.
The final numbers look only pedestrian -- 23 carries, 92 yards -- but the first drive offered a bit of hope that what the line has done so far in training camp can carry over to when the games start for real Sept. 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys ran the ball six times for 29 yards with the first-team offensive line on the field for one series, and that included a no gain on the first carry. Joseph Randle, who was starting while DeMarco Murray and backup Lance Dunbar rested, gained 50 yards on 13 carries.
"It’s tough to completely evaluate it until you watch the film on it, but obviously I think it felt good to us," center Travis Frederick said. "It obviously felt good for us to go against somebody else and see some new things. You can only see so many things out of our defense (in practice). You’ve got to go against other people, so there’s going to be really good stuff on film for us to see and get better at as far as movements and things."
Rookie first-round pick Zack Martin made his debut, coming out after the first series.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, but once you get in there and get a couple of plays under your belt, you start to calm down," Martin said, adding, "The speed wasn’t much different from camp."
Frederick said he thought Martin played well.
"I was terribly nervous the first time out," said Frederick, recalling his first game last year. "I played a few more snaps than he did, but I think from what I can tell he did a very good job. He was comfortable, confident, which is all the good things you want. Obviously there’s plays for all of us where we can improve."