Every year we go through the ups and downs of free agency, the draft, and the OTA’s wondering what we can expect from the upcoming season. While these events can hold both positive and negative news, the majority is simply based on perception and opinions at this point.
So, in no particular order, here are ten things to be optimistic about for the upcoming 2013 season.
1. A better back up for Murray: Felix Jones was done. That was clear last season. With Joseph Randle in the number two spot, we have a much better relief running back and option in the event of injury.
2. Morris Claiborne will have more experience: Not really a whole lot to elaborate on here. With his rookie year under his belt, Claiborne’s breakout season could very well be this year.
3. Callahan calling the plays: This is something that should have happened last season. With Callahan taking over this responsibility it frees up Garrett to focus more on the big picture issues, and hopefully resolve some of the miscommunication and clock management problems of past seasons.
4. The hiring of Monte Kiffin: This is a big one. Not only is this defense going to free up our already spectacular linebackers, but Kiffin’s play calling should be a big improvement over the surprisingly timid play calling of last year’s Rob Ryan.
5. Sean Lee is healthy: Sean Lee is an absolute monster on the field. If he can stay healthy, there is no limit to what he can accomplish. He continues to improve every year, so who knows what and when his peak will be? Combine that with the already mentioned new defensive scheme that should free him up more to make the play, and this becomes a very exciting season to watch Lee.
6. Jason Garrett should find his rhythm this season: Not only will handing over the play calling give Garrett less on his plate, but I think this will be the year that Jason hits his stride. There are always growing pains involved when learning a new position, be it playing or coaching. Many people forget that the lockout had a serious impact on Garrett’s first season, I think that he has learned from the previous season’s mistakes and will be better moving forward.
7. Dooley hired as new receiver’s coach: Some of you may remember last year when I said that Jimmy Robinson needed to be let go. Too many route running issues with too many receivers. Tony Romo should not have had the extra burden of teaching route adjustments on the sidelines during games, what was practice time being spent on? Dooley has been described as a technician, which is a welcome change after Robinson’s playground football style of coaching. We don’t need “keeping it real Thursdays”, we need “running the right route Sundays”.
8. The drafting of Travis Frederick: Whether you believe that we got the best value for him or not, it doesn’t change the fact the he is a great offensive lineman. At center, that’s plugging a pretty important hole. He is also possibly the smartest person to play the position, lessoning the chances of missed assignments.
9. Another season with Dez Bryant: Like Sean Lee, Bryant gets more exciting to watch every year. He’s another player who has only begun to scratch the surface of his capabilities. With Dooley’s more technical approach to coaching, Bryant will make huge strides this season.
10. Tony Romo is angry…in a good way: Romo showed new levels of frustration last season. He is fed up with the team’s underperformances of the last few seasons and I think he is the kind of player that can thrive off of that. That frustration could very well light a fire under Romo, pushing him into the more vocal leadership role many have thought he was reluctant to assume.