Even though training camp is less than a month away, the battles will be tough as 90 players will be fighting for 53 jobs on the roster. If you do the math on that, that means that 37 player will be cut from July 30th until September 1st when the final cuts will be made.
Now there will be 8 players retained on the club’s practice squad, and that may include a few from other teams as well. Injuries are also a common factor in the NFL, and some players ( average 2-3 ) will be placed on injured reserve.
But after all is said and done, the Boys will have 53 players playing 16 regular season games, and fighting to get a chance to play in rthe playoffs as well. Will the 53 players retained be the right combination to get the Cowboys to the ultimate destination, better known as the Superbowl ??
I say .. Possibly !!
The Cowboys have alot of talent on this team, they have alot of chemistry, and they are heading in the right direction, but just like all the other 31 teams in this league, Dallas still needs a few pieces to make this puzzle comes together.
I want to start my assessment on Offense :
The Positives :
The Cowboys have alot of veteran experience in most of their top positions … They have a very good quarterback in Tony Romo, who needs to eliminate a few costly mistakes, and make the right calls. With a full offseason, and training camp, WR Dez Bryant will have his best season this year, barring any injuries, he will be a force to reckon with. Miles Austin should remain healthy this season, he is finally 100% healed with his hamstrings, and barring any setbacks, he should form a perfect complimentary receiver to Bryant. Jason Witten is in the Top 5 of best TE’s in the league, and even though he is starting to hit the age where his skills are starting to decline, he should have another Pro Bowl season. Running Back DeMarco Murray was having a dynamic rookie season before that unfortunate broken ankle vs. the Giants. But he is back at almost 100% making his cuts and turns, he will be ready to go once training camp begins. The Cowboys couldn’t believe the Texans released All Pro Fullback Lawrence Vickers during the offseason, and not only will he be able to road block for Murray, but help in the passing game as well. Signing Kevin Ogletree to a 1 year contract.
The Questionables :
This all begins at the Offensive Line. Coach Bill Callahan was hired to turn this line around. And the entire line will look brand spanking new. Tyron Smith will be going into his 2nd year as the starting Left Tackle ( AKA the QB’s blindside protector ). He was pretty much superb as a rookie at RT last season, only giving up 3 sacks on the season. But will he be as good at LT ? This remains to be seen. Doug Free will be going to Right Tackle after struggling at LT the past 2 seasons. Can Free continue his success at RT that he showed us in 2009, replacing an injured Marc Columbo ? Nate Livings comes to Dallas after 6 up and down seasons in Cincinnati, Will he be the replacement Left Guard the Cowboys have been seeking to replace incumbent starters Montrae Holland, Bill Nagy, and Derrick Dockery ? Will UFA Mackenzy Bernadeau or Rookie Free Agent Ron Leary win the starting job at Right Guard, and make us forget Kyle Kosier ? Will Center Phil Costa win the starting job vs. Kevin Kowalski, and Bill Nagy ? Who will backup Witten and John Phillips as the #3 TE, and replace Martellus Bennett ? And finally, of the 9 wide receivers behind Bryant and Austin, will any of them become the #3 WR on this team, or will the Cowboys have to once more, go out looking for help ?
The Negatives :
Back to the Offensive Line. I am not a big fan of Phil Costa, and even though he may win the starting job at Center, I would like to see him replaced in the offseason. I feel the Cowboys neglected to fill holes at the the #3 TE position, and #3 WR spot, and sure, I understand the concept of seeing what you have in your youth on the roster, But, these are 2 vital positions to this offense, and could form a rotating door on the roster throughout the season. Other than Bryant, Austin, and Kevin Ogletree, not one player on this current roster has an official NFL regular season catch.
The Cowboys may have to search the waiver wire, as they did in 2011 for a #3 WR. Now sure, there isn’t always going to be a Laurent Robinson sitting there for the taking, but they may find someone similar that can help this team.
As far as the #3 Tight End, I think the Cowboys can possibly use a late 2013 draft selection in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, they have a tight end named Nate Byham who is entering his 3rd season, and was considered as the best blocking tight end in the entire 2010 NFL draft. Something to think about.
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