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Feb 4, 2007; Miami, FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark (44) is stopped by Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (92) and cornerback Charles Tillman (33) in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLI at Dolphins Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-US PRESSWIRE Copyright 2007 Jason Parkhurst

What The 2012 Dallas Cowboys Are Still Missing

Aug 15, 2010; Oxnard, CA, USA; Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophies on display at Dallas Cowboys training camp at River Ridge field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

 

So far this offseason the Dallas Cowboys have made a lot of changes and upgrades. They have changed from not having an offensive coordinator, to the hiring of Bill Callahan for that position as well as being the O-line coach. Dave Campo is gone and is replaced by Jerome Henderson which seems like a step in the right direction after the season the Cowboys secondary had last year. Terence Newman is replaced by Brandon Carr and is favorable move by all Cowboys fans after seeing Newman being leaped over on multiple occasions. Laurent Robinson was a nice piece last year but not worth the amount of money Jacksonville gave him, multiple options remain on the team to be a quality replacement for him.

The Dallas O-line was an area that needed a little work but all in all they weren’t the team’s main concern. The team addressed that area by adding a few free agents that Jerry and company felt were instant upgrades. The team also grabbed a few more prospects that were left undrafted but had the talent to be mid to late round picks. The Cowboys felt such an urgency to get these guys that most of them were signed before the night was over during the last day of the draft.

 

Sep 26, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) returns an interception during the game against the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

The Cowboys bolstered the secondary by the signing of Brandon Carr and drafting Morris Claiborne.  With these guys on the field and keeping Mike Jenkins, it is inevitable that Sean Lee won’t be leading the team in interceptions in the 2012 season. All these great athletes will force opposing QB’s to hold on to the ball a little longer and possibly get DeMarcus Ware the single season sack record that we all know he is capable of. If balls are delivered early to avoid sacks than the Dallas Cowboys will have a chance to lead the league in interceptions. The Cowboys added some more pass rush players and if they are capable of making an impact than the teams sack rank of 7th will be improved as well.

Dec 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) runs with the ball after a reception during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

With an explosive offense that consists of a man that can sling it with the best of them, Tony Romo should not have any problem putting points on the board. Jason Witten will be sure to have another season to keep him on pace for the record books, him turning 30 this year will not affect his production. Dez Bryant is destine to have the best year of his career and should be elected for his first pro-bowl. Miles Austin is more determined this year than ever to prove he is one of the league’s best receivers. DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones will be great if they stay healthy the whole season and both could be 1,000+ yard rushers, especially with a FB like Lawrence Vickers leading them to openings.

For a team with minimal salary cap space the Dallas Cowboys have done a great job upgrading. They have a defense that is capable of scoring points of their own, and shutting down some of the league’s best offenses. The offense is capable of scoring unlimited points as long as Jason Garrett stays aggressive. Bill Callahan likes coaching teams to be aggressive in the run game and this will open up options for Tony Romo.

With all the talent the team has among them they could very well be top 5 in all major categories. Romo will have his best year yet in passing yards and touchdowns. The running game will have two runners that will average a combined 160+ yards per game. The secondary will be picking off balls like a young child picking flowers on Mother’s Day. And the defense will get in the face of opposing QB’s and shut down runners before they can get started.

This is a team that seems to be destined for success. The only problem I can see in the team is their record of success. It seems odd that the Dallas Cowboys has had more playoff success than any other team in the league but right now they have the least. The team veterans have had only one playoff win in their career. Recently added Brodney Pool has the most playoff experience and success than any other on the team. Not a single player on the roster knows what it’s like or what it takes to win a Super Bowl. Yes Jason Garrett has been along for a Super Bowl ride standing in the shadow of Troy Aikman but that was a long time ago and the league has evolved into a new era since then.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Dallas Cowboys will make the playoffs this year. But what will they do when they get there? I am afraid that the team may reach the level that they haven’t reached in the last 17 years and then look around and say, “Now what”. The team needs a veteran that has been through the rough Super Bowl road. They need a player that can be a leader in the locker room for the post season. Not just a leader on the field. Plenty of these players are still available, and could be the difference for the team’s outcome of the season.

Not only are players available, but players that could fill holes on the team. Plexico Burress could fill the role left by Laurent Robinson as a NO.3 receiver. I’m not very fond of Burress but he has won a Super Bowl and might have the attitude to kick the team in to gear. James Farrior may be a little over aged for a MLB but his 2 Super Bowl wins may inspire the team to be hungry in the post season. Ryan Grant’s running skills could do nothing but good for the team. With a Super Bowl win on his résumé Dallas would be one of the best run teams in the league. The Dallas Cowboys need a good replacement for a bad Martellus Bennett. While Jeremy Shockey may portray the temperament that is encouraged by Rob Ryan, Dallas Clark seems like a player that was born to be a Dallas Cowboy by both his first name and initials.

I’m not saying that the Dallas Cowboys can’t win a Super Bowl without a former champion on the roster, nor am I saying a team has never done it before. But if it can’t hurt than it can only do good. I’m sure the team could pick up one of these guys on a budget price considering nobody has taken them yet, but if not I’m sure Jerry wouldn’t mind restructuring some more contracts to free up some salary space. I don’t feel like the team has enough elite players to not be able to squeeze one of these guys on the 53 man roster either. It would just be good for the team to have at least one player on the team that could help lead the team mentally emotionally when January comes. It may not be what the Dallas Cowboys are missing but it is definitely something they don’t have.

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Tags: Brandon Carr Dallas Clark Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Dez Bryant Felix Jones Jason Garrett Jason Witten Miles Austin Morris Claiborne Rob Ryan Terrence Newman Tony Romo

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