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Dec 11, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) in action against the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Pre-OTA Cowboy's Impact Player of the Year Candidates

Wow, Cowboys fans, it’s been a crazy two months of non-football. The Cowboys hauled in an impressive and inexpensive (save for one) Free Agency crop, and Jerry Jones pulled a Jerry to move up in the draft for the flashiest thing there other than Andrew Luck’s neck-beard and RGIII’s socks. Personally, the awesome piece of stuffed crust pizza I held in my hand fell to the floor because I was busy jumping up and down with sheer excitement.

There will be quite a few contributors next year in all three phases of the game, but here are two that will top my books:

Dec 18, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans fullback Lawrence Vickers (47) runs after a catch against the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Lawrence Vickers: Last year, our running game was abyssmal without Fiametta in the lineup. This off-season, Fiametta got on his high horse about how much money he thought we should pay him, so we signed someone better, Lawrence Vickers, instead. I’m STOKED about this guy. He has the crazy something-wrong-in-the-head middle linebacker mentality, except he’s blocking for one of the best running backs in the league. Murray started 8 games last year. If you don’t count the game he suffered a season ending injury in the beginning minutes of the game, Murray averaged 114 yards per game. This puts him on pace for 1825 yards over a 16 game season, which would have won the league rushing title (MJD won it with 1606 yards last year). With Vickers blocking for Murray, and a beefed up offensive line, expect this offense to be described as “effectively balanced”.

DeMarcus Ware: look for a total defensive transformation this year. The naysayers (especially the blubbering brook, Warren Sapp) don’t think that this defense has improved to a point where the Cowboys can be contenders. But for as many times as Ware got to the QB last year, there were at tons of times he was just a .5 second off. I’m sure our $50 million man and 1st (and 2nd) round draft pick Mo Claiborne can give Ware that extra time to get to the CB. He’s played at a very high level for a very long time and I believe he will break Strahan’s record. Maybe the mix of Crawford and Spencer opposite will take some pressure off. But who doesn’t like a pass rusher that gets sacks even through double and triple teams?

Mike Jenkins:  30 minutes into the draft, our CB position suddenly became super crowded with talent, not such a bad thing right?  For a Cowboys fans, yes. For Mike Jenkins, no.  It looks like he is the odd man out with Carr not even 1 practice into his five year deal and Scandrick fresh off a $27million extension.  Make no mistake though, this is a contract year for Mike Jenkins and he will perform. As a writer and fan, I was excited to have Jenkins back, because last year he showed a ton of toughness. This year will be his last wearing the star (unless the Cowboys want to spend $120 million over 5 years for the four starting CB’s) and he will be seeking the biggest payday possible.  Who knows, Jenkins might show he has ball hawk potential and could possible become a free safety.  But expect great things from him this year, his financial security depends on it one way or another.

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Tags: DeMarus Ware Lawrence Vickers

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