8. It appears they have finally found a reliable FG kicker.
I don’t even want to try to recall the number of games that were lost because of an inability to kick field goals in the last few years. I am reluctant to put too much faith in Bailey based on such a small sample of his work, but the kid has hit on 12 of 13 attempts so far this season.
The Cowboys recently broke a NFL record for the most consecutive games decided by a TD or less. The current Cowboy team doesn’t blow out many teams, but they rarely get trounced either. As a result, a missed FG or 2 will often result in a loss. Conversely, a reliable kicker can win games for them.
Having a reliable kicker will also allow them to play more “sound football”. I mean that Garrett and Romo (if they learned anything last week) will not feel pressured to score TD’s all the time, nor will they feel like they need to take risks to get first downs once they are in FG range. When your kicker can’t be counted on to hit from 30-40 yards, it is easy, and understandable, to get a bit reckless trying to score touchdowns. If they have a reliable kicker, which Bailey appears to be, it should allow the offense to play a bit more conservatively, which in turn should limit turnovers and other costly mistakes.
9. The recent emergence of Laurent Robinson.
I have to be honest: I was a bit surprised, and less than elated, when they cut Bryan McCann and re-signed Robinson. I do not even remember the last time that the Cowboys had two good starting WR’s and a reliable 3rd wideout. It may have even been as far back as Kelvin Martin. Robinson had 3 catches for 49 yards against the Skins and 7 catches for 116 yards against the Lions.
If Robinson is for real, and Witten, Bryant, and Austin are all healthy, I think it is more likely than not that Ryan Leaf could consistently move the ball and score points. Even without Robinson, the other 3 pass catchers are one of the best receiving units in the league. If Robinson continues to play like he did against Detroit, this offense should have far too many weapons for any defense to stifle. If this group of receivers is healthy and Romo learned a lesson as suggested above, this offense should be able to outscore most of the teams in the NFL, even with a mediocre defense
10. Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. Enough Said.