About this time every year I like to start to identify those Cowboys players I believe are the core of the team. Those players that are synonymous with the Dallas Cowboys, whether by the irreplaceable quality of their play or their identity as the faces of the Franchise. Last year, for 2010, I chose 5 players as the core. In no certain order they were: Dez Bryant; Tony Romo; DeMarcus Ware; Jason Witten; and Matt McBriar (yes, the punter). Now, this is not the same as saying – if I was starting a team who would I want on it. Instead, it’s considering and identifying who the Dallas Cowboys are as a franchise and what players on the current roster that I would keep if I could only keep a few. Based on that, those are the 5 players I believe were the core of this team, the ones I would keep, from last year. If I could choose a 6th player, It was a coin toss between Miles Austin and Jay Ratliff.
This year, the choices are going to be a little harder. For instance, does Matt McBriar still have more value than Sean Lee? Probably not. Now that I’ve seen him for most the year, does Dez Bryant’s potential still warrant a spot on the short list? I don’t know that for sure. What about Miles Austin? I figured he would be a core player for sure this year, but he’s missed so much time. Unless his impact is substantial when he returns, how can Miles be considered a core player?
I am sure, however, Jason Witten is still one of the Cowboys core players. Witten is not ‘The Franchise’, but he is such an intrinsic part of who the Dallas Cowboys are on Offense, he will probably always be on this core list. Besides, Jason is on track to be the first player on this current team to make it to the Hall of Fame.
DeMarcus Ware is another clear and obvious choice as a Dallas Cowboys core player. Two summers ago, when the Cowboys held their split training camp in Oxnard, I took my nephew to see them. He knows what a big Tony Romo fan I am, so he was a little surprised when I pointed out DeMarcus Ware and said “See that guy? That’s DeMarcus Ware. Now, Tony Romo is the face of the franchise” I said, “but DeMarcus Ware is ‘The Franchise’ “. That’s how I feel about that.
A couple years ago, Jerry Jones said he wanted to make the Dallas Cowboys ‘Romo friendly’. If that doesn’t correlate to Tony Romo being a core player, then what does? Since he came on to the scene in October 2006, Tony has been a Media darling. Whether he earned it or not on the football field (he has, being a top 10 QB since he replaced Drew Bledsoe), Tony Romo garners attention. Ticket sales and jersey sales followed. Jerry recognized that rare combination of talent and the ‘it factor’ right away and Tony is now the face of the franchise.
This year, whether it was the lock out or Rob Ryan or just inevitability, some things have changed as far as how I see the core of these Cowboys. I think I’m going to expand my list to 6 or 7 players. As of today, I have identified and gave reason for 3 of them: DeMarcus Ware; Jason Witten; and Tony Romo. I’ll fill out the rest of my list in the next couple weeks.
If you could only keep 4, 5 or 7 players on this current Dallas Cowboys roster, who would they be? I won’t give you a short list, take everything into consideration and choose from the entire roster. Let me know your choices in the comments section.
Now for a short POINTS and OBSERVATIONS:
-Romo under-threw Martellus Bennett on his first INT against Miami. Still, I get the feeling that if that was Dez Bryant that wouldn’t be an INT. His second INT was a poor route by Laurent Robinson. Fans sometimes forget that QBs have to throw to a spot many times, not to a receiver, to a spot. We should keep that in mind.
-Speaking of Robinson, he came on later in the game but he ran a couple bad routes and dropped a sure huge gain when we desperately needed it. Is it just me, or does he remind you of Patrick Crayton? From the broken play touchdowns to the drops of wide open big gain passes.
-How ridiculous was the presentation of Phil Simms Iron Award. “We proudly present to DeMarcus Ware and Dan Bailey an Iron (a large version of the one we use in Monopoly) and a spicy apple pie baked by an ‘Iron Chef’” “Now when we say go, you gotta eat the pie”. ” Watch out for the jalepenos”. Pretty nice award, huh?
-Our throw back uniforms are almost better looking than the regular ones.
-In that drive that ends with the 18 yard touchdown, Tony Romo put on a show! Did he throw one pass besides the touchdown that he wasn’t being hit or dragged down? That drive has got to go down as one of his best and has got to be included in a career high-lite film. The film, of course will be titled ‘Romo being Romo’.
-The defense can look really average sometimes. Why is Alan Ball still on this team?
-Am I the only one brave enough to proclaim that I don’t like Tebow style football? The NFL is popular because of the FORWARD PASS, not STUDENT BODY RIGHT or STUDENT BODY LEFT. As things stand today, there are 31 Pro teams in the NFL and 1 College team. Can you guess which?
This weeks Waste of Roster Spots:
Alan Ball – Does this need explanation?
No one else makes the list this week, too many injuries.