The following article is by our newest writer, C. Joseph Wright. I’m overjoyed to have this talented writer on our staff and I believe we’ll all benefit from his wisdom in the coming weeks. Enjoy! – SM
Good day fellow Cowboy fans! There have been so many changes to the team this off-season (6 offensive starters are no longer with us and we have a new defensive coordinator), I am not sure what to expect. Hence, I am eagerly anticipating the upcoming game against the Jets. The following is a list of things, in no specific order, I will be paying attention to in the Jets game:
1. How will the offensive line hold up?
I am not so concerned with individual players losing one on one battles; that happens to even the best players and will surely happen occasionally to the 3 newbies (assuming that Smith, Nagy, and Costa/Kowalski play). I am more interested in the communication between the linemen and the way the group performs as a unit.
I am particularly concerned with the number of missed assignments: how often will blitzers be permitted to come free? How often will Romo have to throw the ball away or hurry a pass? How often will Romo be in danger of suffering another serious injury? I can’t think of a better test for the young linemen than facing the array of exotic blitz packages that Ryan will throw at them.
If they perform well in their pick-ups and the answer to the above questions is, “not often”, then perhaps we can safely start calling Garrett (and Jerry Jones the GM?) a genius; if they flounder, we may be tempted to second guess the releasing of all the veterans.
1b. If Costa is not ready to go, do they plug Kowalski in at center, or do they resort to a more drastic realignment?
1c. How much will they miss Gurode?
He was supposed to be the QB of the line, will they be lost without his Pro-Bowl caliber pre-snap reads and adjustments? Rumors have claimed that Kosier was the real brains behind the line calls, so maybe (hopefully) Gurode won’t be missed.
1d. How much will the blocking of MartyB be missed?