Preseason is done and the final 53 man roster is set and the Dallas Cowboys are ready for another season. Looking to improve from an inconsistent 8-8 season in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, the NFC East. Judging from what I seen so far with the offseason moves and from last year. The games and division is there for them to win and lose. As Jerry Jones put it best. He's ready to get some "Glory Hole" Here I break down the
offense, defense and give my predictions on they're overall record this season.
Off-season moves: QB Kyle Orton, FB Lawrence Vickers, G Mackenzy Bernadeau, G
Nate Livings, WR Cole Beasley, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Andre Holmes
Tony Romo is back to anchor the Cowboys offense. Hopefully for his sake, he wont have to carry as much of a
load as he was put to do last season. Too much is put on him and of course he
will continue to get the blame for every loss this season. But in order to make
this offense work, everybody has to contribute starting with the Offensive Line.
Which is still rebuilding but should improve. Swapping Doug Free and Tyron Smith from
left to right guard is a good idea and T.Smith will show his versatility on the
left as well and do a better job protecting Romo's blind side. Most
concern is from the Center position with Costa who has to stay healthy and gain
chemistry. If not, then veteran Ryan Cook will step in who i think is a better
fit. Guards Bernadeau and Livings are vets and must make a statement on
protecting Romo so he can continue to work his magic. Garrett has to balance out
the passing/running attack so the OLine wont be stressed out on just pass
protection and show how much they are worth out there.
Speaking on the running attack. This is a MUST for the Cowboys. DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones
can really provide a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield.....IF HEALTHY! Leading off
for them is the newly signed FB Lawrence Vickers who's toughness,skill,charisma
will show that he was money well spent and make holes for Murray and Jones. If
Murray can get at least up to 25 and Felix up to 10 carries and up to 175 yards
a game combined, that would be key and will spread the offense to make the opposing
defenses guessing. Once again a healthy season is a must for Murray and Jones.
The WR core is in the same boat as well. A healthy Miles Austin and Dez
Bryant means your will have one of best WR combos in the league. Both can put up
Pro Bowl caliber numbers and give the secondaries the blues. I see Dez Bryant
with the talent and potential to become the #1 WR here in Dallas. Better route
running and playbook studying will take him there. With a full off-season, I see
this happening. I also see a nice contribution in the 3WR set. Losing Laurent
Robinson wont be a huge loss with Ogletree, Cole Beasley, and Dwayne Harris
taking majority of those plays. I see Cole Beasley becoming the permanent WR
there. Better hands, quick, and harder to tackle. This should take of a HUGE
load from TE Jason Witten who has been Romo's security blanket through the years
by default from inconsistent and injury plagued WRs here. Witten will be no
surprise here putting up his numbers. Also, get ready to see more of John
Phillips this season when the Cowboys run 2TE sets. Great blocker and good hands
from Phillips in his resume. Plus Phillips should finally show that he's shouldve has this
spot instead of Martellus Bennett. Who is gone and now a rival NY Giant. This
offense can put up the numbers with no problem. All they have to do is be
aggressive on offense when the time is right and use everyone on the field.
OLine protects Romo and open holes for Murray/Jones to spread the field. Let
Romo work his magic and get is too his WRs. If they can last a
full season then it should open up the playbook even more from the conservative
calls that were made from Garrett last season. I expect newly hired Offensive
Coordinator Bill Callahan to mix it up and surprise teams this season. The
predictable, one-dimensional offense of this team has to stop if they want to be
Off Season Moves: CB Brandon Carr, CB Mo Claiborne(drafted), DE
Kenyon Coleman, SS Barry Chruch, LB Dan Connor, LB Alex Albright,
This is what I have a huge concern about more than the offense. Seeing that this team
couldnt compliment the offense and costed some games is a hard pill to swallow.
DeMarcus Ware was the only person that was getting pressure to the QB. His sack
total shows proof. But most of his sacks where in the 1st-3rd quarters. He's had
a total of only 4 sacks in the 4th quarter in games this season. Mainly because
he was getting double and triple teamed in the 4th and no help was being
enforced to back him up. It time for this to change. Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff,
and Kenyon Coleman needs to step up and push those opposing OLine to the ground
and attack the QB. Hatcher has a lot to prove this season, which i think he should.
I need to see Ratliff get back to Pro Bowl form and contribute,
judging how he is with his high-ankle sprain.
Kenyon Coleman should show that speed from that left side. The LB core will be
led by Sean Lee, who is emerging and showing a lot of leadership with his play.
Great tackler, can read the QB and has great hands, great coverage on TEs. Im
looking forward to seeing what help he gets from vet Dan Connor and Bruce
Carter. Carter is faster and a more better tackler and see him making some
plays. The OLB core consists of Anthony Spencer, who has been franchise tagged. Is good running from the
edge and should improve this year. Along with Victor Butler who's made a lot of
noise this preseason, and Alex Albright who is a great tackler and tough.
The secondary was a big disaster. But of course without any
pressure getting added to the QB from for DLineman, that added more work to
the secondary and they were getting killed with big plays and YAC(yards after
catch). Also adjusting to a new defensive scheme with a new Defensive
Coordinator Rob Ryan in a lockout shortened season didnt make it any better at
all. This year there will be NO EXCUSES! Signing CB Brandon Carr and drafting CB
Mo Claiborne was a step into the right direction with that they needed:
Potential shutdown CBs. Both must play aggressive and get ready for big plays to
then since this is a pass-happy league now. Carr showed good hands in the
preseason and tight coverage. Which needs to be done for the regular season if
he wants to be a "great CB". Mo Claiborne might catch the rookie blues early on.
But he should adjust and become a good CB. He also has great hands and
coverage. Which he shown at LSU. CB Mike Jenkins has a lot to prove this season
with his final year on his contract and being moved to 3rd CB. I want to see him
earn his money and get back into the Pro Bowl CB he was 2years ago and stay
healthy. I want to see Scandrick do more that just CB blitz this season. I want
to see some coverage done, especially when teams will step into the 4 and 5 WR
sets. he needs to be ready and cut his penalties down as well.
The safety position is still rough around the edges. Gerald Sensebaugh is another fragile
player that is still good and can cover if consistent and healty and gets help
in zone coverage. Barry Church will be the starting SS this year. Strong and is
a big hitter and I need to see him use that 6'2'' frame and get ready to cover
some TEs and intimitade some WRs coming across the middle and make them think
twice. If the CBs are doing they're part then Sensebaugh and Church should have
no problems holding they're own. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan will keep the
aggressive style on point. differents schemes and blitzing packages and zone
coverage. If his defensive players execute what he throws out there. This
defense will be tops in the NFL
2012 Season predictions from the schedule:
2012 Record: 9-7
The Cowboys have a tough schedule ahead of them with 5 of
they're first 8 games on the road. If they can win on the road that would be
very huge for them as a team. But from my eyes, that a lot of consistent play,
penalites, and playcalling might take place. This record will be a lot better if
the things they take care of(shorten the penalties, more pressure from the DLine
and improve secondary, better OLine, run the football more, stay healthy) are
taken care of. If not, then this is what they will be. As a fan I want to
see an 11-5 record. But realistically, they will be 9-7, 2nd in the NFC East and
will pick up a Wild Card spot. This will be an improved Cowboys team no
doubt in my mind.