This off-season, much has been made about the Cowboys 3rd option at Wide Receiver. Through my Twitter interactions with fans (@MrCowboy74) and keeping a watchful eye over the first week or so of Training Camp, it is obvious people are worried. Last year Laurent Robinson proved a vital weapon in the Cowboys passing attack but his absence is not going to affect them as negatively as perceived. There are much more pressing issues. In fact, the offense in its entirety is not a major concern. Last year, the offense played at a playoff level for nearly the entire season. The Cowboys finished 11th overall in Total Offense and 15thoverall in Points Scored. I am not concerned with those numbers. The offensive line was the reason those numbers were not better, the Cowboys did not score more points and sustain more drives (more on that in a minute). I am much more concerned with the way the defense performed.
The secondary was absolutely atrocious. The off-season addition of Brandon Carr and Mo Claiborne at the cornerback position instantly takes a position of weakness and turns it into a position of strength. The developments of Barry Church at Safety and Adrian Hamilton/Tyrone Crawford as pass rushers also bodes well for a team that could not get pressure on the quarterback in 2011. Sean Lee seems poised for a break-out season, Tyron Smith is proving to be a force (and at such a young age), Sean Lissemore is developing nicely and the 3rd Wide Receiver will not matter anyways.
You read that correctly; the 3rd Wide Receiver will not matter this season. Jason Witten has always been the 3rd option (or maybe even 2nd option) at receiver and after having a break-out season last year, DeMarco Murray projects to catch a significant amount of passes out of the backfield in Jason Garrett’s offense. This makes the 3rd best option at Wide Receiver, the 5th best option to catch a football. I can live with Raymond Radway/Danny Coale/A veteran (?) being the 5th or 6th best option to catch a ball.
A much more upsetting thought is the Cowboys have one of the best Offensive Tackle tandems in the NFL and an interior Offensive Line that is brutal. They also have a Safety tandem that has proven nothing. Barry Church has been a favorite of mine since his rookie preseason campaign. I saw something in the young player and I am hoping that he can prove me right. However, he has not played against the big boys yet and has everything left to prove. The Cowboys just cut S Brodney Poole after one week of camp so Church is impressing those that make the decisions. However, he and Sensabaugh have much to prove at a position that has been a weakness since Darren Woodson, who is in the Ring of Honor, retired in 2004. What’s that? He’s not in the Rin….. hmm..
If you want something to panic about, forget about the man who is going to catch the 5th or 6th most passes. Instead, start worrying about how long Tony Romo can avoid being crushed when his interior OL gets flattened and how many 3rd and 15 scenarios Gerald Sensabaugh and Barry Church might ruin with poor secondary protection. Then maybe worry about all the nicks, strains, cuts and bruises our Boys are sustaining. Then if that is not trivial enough for you, try to figure out how the Cowboys’ all-time leader in tackles is not in the Ring of Honor. The last 8 years in the Cowboys secondary is Exhibit “A” in his merit.
- I wish the team would let Mo Claiborne play a series or two in the Oakland game. I understand and appreciate the extra cautious behavior but I really want to see him compete in the Pre-Season. I think it will be vital for him to get as much playing time as possible in these next four exhibition games, so that when Eli rolls around in Week 1 Claiborne is not coming off over-resting a minor injury, with literally NO professional experience.
- Clifton Geathers is a humongous individual. I am hoping the Cowboys’ past sacrifices to keep him on the roster will pay dividends when he has a break-out season in 2012.
- I know I mentioned it above, but I have been very impressed with one week of Barry Church and apparently so have the Cowboys staff. I picked Church to be a difference maker when I saw him in his rookie preseason. Hopefully he too will have a breakout season this year and prove me correct.
- Slow down and stop panicking on these injuries. None of the 18 listed injuries the Cowboys have suffered thus far are serious past a week or so.
- The Stephen McGee and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah experiments have failed. It is time to cut them.
- I do not have a problem with the Cole Beasley mess. Sometimes, family has to come first. It doesn’t matter though folks; he was never going to make this roster.
- The Oxnard Fire Marshal shut down the Blue and White Scrimmage at 12,500 people and sent away many more for a glorified practice and a 3rd team scrimmage. Keep in mind that this scrimmage occurred in Oxnard, California (1,500 miles west of Dallas, Texas). Bring that up next time someone says the Cowboys “ARENT’ AMERIC’AS TEAM LULSZ!”
- Follow me on Twitter (@MrCowboy74) for all your disparaging Eagles, Redskins and Giants jokes.
- The Cowboys take the field in 6 days. God is good.