Dallas is dead serious about this 12 package using 2 Tight End sets. They already have the best TE in the NFL right now, and a speedy TE in James Hanna, but Dallas invested another 2nd round pick in a TE who has great hands. This time though, it is a kid who is more serious about the game and not just a physical specimen. Gavin Escobar is going to be on the field to create mismatches that will lead to man coverage on a WR, presumably Miles or Williams. Miles can beat that often and can make teams pay.
In addition, the Cowboys may actually keep a 4th TE in Dante Rosario who is very talented and is not merely Camp fodder or a roster spot player. He could make this team and be used as an H-Back or even some at Fullback. Kevin Kowalski and Caleb McSurdy have also seen some time at Fullback. It leads me to believe Lawrence Vickers is on the bubble for his roster spot. If he cannot prove himself to be the ferocious lead blocker we envisioned, then in goal line situations they may use a backup O-lineman or McSurdy. The rest of the time we have a split backfield the player is likely to be one of the TEs, creating yet another mismatch for Defenses to adjust to. How do you defense Hanna’s speed from the backfield?
This leads me to the running game. Yes, we are going to go as far as the improvement in the running game takes us. We now have a backup capable of being the starter if the starter goes down. He says he’s not going to go down. This is bad news for other teams if he is healthy and produces, because when Dallas has been best the last 2 years it has been when DeMarco Murray is being fed the football and we are pushing teams backwards with solid running and timing passes. Now we have a player in Joseph Randle who is every bit as effective at this as Murray. In case anyone missed it, Oklahoma State is a pass happy football team. Go look at Randle’s production in that pass happy Offense. It is quite eye opening as to the talent we got in the 5th round.
Which brings me to the Offensive Line, which is also my biggest worry on this football team. I fully expect Travis Frederick to anchor this OL at Center. His intelligence and quick learning ability has already impressed the coaches who know they made the right choice despite the naysayers. If Phil Costa truly is back healthy he may take the RG spot away from Mackenzy Bernadeau. Costa does have a mean streak. So does Ron Leary. The Cowboys are not handing starting spots on the OL to anyone. The meanest, most effective guys are going to start. This is why Doug Free was kept above all other reasons. He does have a mean streak to him. He needs to be the bounce back player of the year or he will lose his job to the ever more aggressive Jermey Parnell who was effective at times last year when they split reps. The man brought in to help Callahan on the OL is a big man with a loud voice and passion for the game. Frank Pollack is not afraid of pushing these guys harder than they have ever been pushed.