Who would you take for the Oline: Zack Martin, Gabe Jackson, or Xavier Sua-Filo?

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Who would you take for the Oline: Zack Martin The Nasty, Gabe Jackson The Mauler, or Xavier Sua-Filo The Baller? The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of work to do before the draft. They have to completely rebuild the defensive line and the rest of the defense isn’t much better: with a struggling secondary, and a linebacking core that hasn’t been able to reach their potential. Not only that, but their Oline could still use an upgrade at both the RT and the OG position.

cowboys oline 1

With that being said, if all the top defensive line prospects are gone by the time the Cowboys pick at 16, who would you take? Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick should be cornerstones on the Oline for the next 10 years or so, but everyone else is a question mark. Bernadeau played fairly well last season, but is only about average. Doug Free really stepped up, but he is 29 and his contract is almost up. Would you resign a player that has been inconsistent? Ronald Leary was actually the weakest link on the line last season. He also has knee issues. Would you count on him to be healthy? Even if you thought these guys played well, the interior line lacks serious depth, and it has to be drafted. So let’s see who’  you would rather take if Zack Martin, Gabe Jackson, and Xavier Sua Filo were to last until the 16th pick?

Zack Martin: 6-4   309 lbs.

Zack Martin OlineZack Martin, outside of Taylor Lewan, has to be the nastiest OT in this year’s draft. He plays with a mean streak and a high motor. Once he gets his hands on you, it is normally game over; he plays with excellent hand placement, and plays with nice leverage. He has no problem getting to the second level, suggesting he could play in the zone blocking scheme as well as a man blocking scheme.

He is a smart player, rarely out of position, and rarely makes the same mistake twice. He is one of the most well rounded Oline prospects in the draft. He has a strong lower body. He has no injury concerns, which is something the Cowboys have dealt with since Jason Garrett became HC.

Most of the negative concerns are physical for Zack Martin. He is only 6-4 which is a bit short for an OT, right or left. He has short arms, and has the smallest hand size of any of the offensive linemen in the draft. It’s difficult to project him as an OG in the NFL.

Obviously, if selected by the Cowboys, he will probably play OG his first year, and then be kicked out to RT when Doug Free is let go. Personally, I think he compares quite favorably to Logan Mankins of the New England Patriots. He was physically limited for the Oline as well, but has since become an All Pro guard in the NFL.

Gabe Jackson: 6-3  331 lbs.

Gabe JacksonCan we please get the next Larry Allen? Ever since Larry Allen retired, many players have been touted as his second coming: from Steve Hutchinson, to David DeCastro, to Larry Warford. While all were or are good, none are the great Larry Allen. That is until Gabe Jackson decided to show himself to the nation.

Gabe Jackson is a flat out mauler at OG. He has long arms for the OG position as well as a broad and wide chest. He has an 82 1/8 wingspan which is monstrous. He plays with power not seen in this year’s group of Oline prospects. He plays with a good burst. However, he is inconsistent with that burst. He can get to the second level, and has played in both man and zone blocking schemes at Mississippi State. He plays with nice leverage. He never needed help to block the 3 techs of the SEC. Unlike Larry Warford, Gabe Jackson plays with a mean streak and will bully his opposition.

The negatives are really just nitpicking. He ran a very slow number at the combine, but who cares when you can play right? His speed does come into question however, when he is blocking in space. His tape is better than his workout drills, and I trust that above all else. He will lunge when he is beaten, causing him to get off balance.

I like Gabe Jackson the best, as he will be the best OG in this class. The Cowboys took Frederick in the first round last year, despite being the slowest center in NFL history. To top it off, he played in a zone blocking scheme with the Cowboys. The Cowboys didn’ even have Warford on their board last season, and if they knock Gabe Jackson off their board this year because of a lack of speed, then there are some major inconsistencies in their scouting.

Xavier Sua’Filo: 6-4  307 lbs.

Xavier Su'a Filo 1Xavier Sua’Filo is the best zone blocking OG in this draft. He was born to play in the Cowboys Oline scheme. He has played both OT and OG while at UCLA showing off his versatility, while also giving scouts a hint about his athleticism. He has nice core strength and an agile lower body. He has elite burst off the snap and can get to the second level with relative ease. He is also quite smart and very dependable; as evidenced by the fact that he was voted team captain by teammates his final two years at UCLA. His strength is amazing, especially when considering the fact that he played in a zone blocking scheme where the players are normally the more athletic type rather than strong.

He can get a little impatient with his blocks, allowing himself to be open for mistakes. He has small arms, but not as small as Martin’s. He doesn’t do well controlling his momentum on sweeps and screens. Out of all the prospects on the Oline, Sua’Filo makes the most sense for the Cowboys. He can already play the scheme they run, and should be an elite player at the next level.


Gabe Jackson, Zack Martin, and Xavier Sua’Filo are all good players, and all should be good players at the next level. However, if I had my choice right now, Sua’Filo is the leader. I like Gabe Jackson more, but I think that Sua’Filo is simply the best fit for this team. He fits what the Cowboys are doing and he is a leader who has said he wants to be in the Hall of Fame someday. He has the right head on his shoulders, as well as the ability to play at an elite level. If the Cowboys were to draft one of the other two guys, I wouldn’t complain.

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  • Lionone1

    I Like Gabe the most out of those guys he was my first pick after I realized Jake Mathews was graded so high and wouldnt be available at sixteen. Long and strong. Filo a close second because of zone blocking experience, is also a versatile lineman. Alot of people are high on Martin though so I’d welcome any of the three for depth and competition.

    • I would be happy with any of them as well, but Gabe is my 1st choice despite Xavier being the best scheme fit. This Team has lacked some nasty in the trenches for too long.

      • Gabriel Carrasco

        Depends on what the Cowboys do. I see Dallas picking Filo over Jackson, despite Jackson being better.

        • I am sure they will: BTW this article got me involved in a chat with Xavier when I tagged him in a tweet. I came to learn that him and Manumaleuna are cousins! How cool would it be to get them both?

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            They’re cousins, that’s pretty cool actually.

          • yes it is.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            If we get any of those 3 I would be happy. But of course we would still have to draft other guys later on. I heard there is a pretty good punter. Would you draft him with a compensatory pick?

          • broaddus did

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            It’s actually pretty realistic since only one is a projected 1st round pick.

          • That makes perfect sense.

      • Football Mensa

        They need nasty but Jackson isn’t Larry Allen nasty. Allen was a once in a lifetime nasty. Jackson in the second and maybe Trai Turner in the third if the opportunity presents itself. That would make a dominant o line.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      I like Gabe Jackson the most as well. It’s just a scheme fit issue. I do think he can play in this scheme. And I do think he will be the best OG, but if Dallas thinks he is too big, we saw what happened to Warford.

  • Chris

    Have to agree with you, Jackson has the nasty that the line needs and has been missing, however like you said Sua’Filo has the experience they desperately need. They HAVE to go defense first though but like you said if all the top defensive players are off the board then yes go with the OLine. Then again this is Jerry we’re talking about.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      I agree, but only to an extent. D line and defense period is a big need, more so than O line. But comparing the number 1 DE which is Clowney to someone like even Martin, to me Martin wins on my board. I am just not impressed with any of the D line, or any of the other defensive prospects. I will try to get Cas to post another article detailing some of the DE I like. But if you can’t wait, you can read Al’s and Cas’s scouting reports. They have a lot of them.

    • Football Mensa

      No they don’t have to go defense first. This team isn’t going to the superbowl this year. Finish the o line rebuild Almost there don’t stop now. That would give us one dominant position group on the team. The only dominant position group.

      • Chris

        Like I said it all depends on which defensive players are left on the board when the cowboys are picking. Yes our oline can be dominant but whats a good oline going to do when they’re on the bench for the majority of the game because our defense can’t slow anybody down? Both need upgrades but the oline we have now is good, not great but good. Our dline on the other hand is nowhere being good. When all is said and done after our pick i just hope we get an immediate starter on either side of the line.

        • Football Mensa

          The d is messed up from front to back.

  • Football Mensa

    Who would you take for the Oline: Zack Martin, Gabe Jackson, or Xavier Sua-Filo? Yes !

  • californy

    I would target Gabe Jackson of the player you mention, I believe he come off somewhere little after our sec rd pick this year to top 8th in rd number 3.. I would trade down the pick in round number 1 several times, by dropping 2 stop at a time we can gain an extra 4th rd pick .

    here who projected to be available in rd number 4, Jackson Jeffcoat, marcus Smith DE-LB, Trevor Riley,, Shane Skov, Morgan Breslin, and Dontae Johnson Safety., Could you imagine getting 4 of those players, and drafting Tim Jennings DT Or Ealy in rd number 1.at spot 25-26.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      I don’t think he will make it to the 3rd round. Teams took a flier on Warford last year, and I doubt teams do the same this year. Teams like the Texans, Seahawks, and Browns will be very interested.

      • californy

        I draft Gabe Jackson in rd number 2. You are taking to much a risk wainting in rd number 3.

  • californy

    In the sec rd 2 would trade down somewhere to pick 24 in RD number 2, and select Gabe Jackson there at that spot.. By trading down 3 times, I can Pick up 3 player like David Fales QB, Taylor hart DE, Aaron Lynch, WR Mike Davis, Manumaleuna NT from BYU

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      I traded down with the Browns, and traded my second round pick for their 2nd, and so I got to pick at number 4 in round 2, and I was also able to get their 4th round pick and number 6 in the same round.