Training camp starts in two weeks. The Cowboys need to be focused before wheels touch down near Oxnard, CA. This year, the Dallas Cowboys need to be all business from day one.
The players, the coaches, the equipment people, everyone in the organization. Focused. Determined. All in.
Cowboys QB and defacto leader, Tony Romo, needs to lead from the first huddle. His singular purpose should be to prepare himself and his team to play at the consistent level necessary to compete for a Lombardy Trophy – there is no other reason to be there. No other reason to wear a Cowboys uniform and jog out onto the field. Romo needs to Romo, thats what makes him good. Fewer interceptions would make him great. Great is what the Cowboys need this year.
DeMarco Murray must display an ability to stay on the field and in the game. Display a little more purpose, a little less abandon. Stay healthy. If he can’t, then the rest of the running backs pushing behind him must show the resolve and the talent to step up and step in.
Every Cowboys receiver – Miles, Dez, Harris, Beasley, Williams – that lines up on the line of scrimmage needs to get off the line quickly, run a perfect route and catch every ball that is thrown in their direction. Sloppy, lazy, half-hearted glimpses of greatness will not suffice, not this year. We know the Cowboys receiving corps have talent and can make acrobatic catches and can run like the wind. But, they have to do it on every down, every time. No taking plays off, no poor route running.
The tight ends not named Jason Witten, need to watch what Witten does and do that. As a matter of fact, if the entire team went about their work like Jason Witten, this article would be a mute point.
The Cowboys defensive players need to have blinders on this training camp. Cowboys new defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, is implementing a new 4-3 scheme, less complicated, but more affective – hopefully. The gist of this new scheme was introduced in the OTAs. From practice one, the players need to get up to speed, learn it, know it, and play it proficiently. Cowboys safety, Matt Johnson, needs to prove he was worth the wait and the roster spot.
DeMarcus Ware, now a defensive end instead of a linebacker, quietly goes about his business, prepares well and plays – when healthy – at a high level. This year, he needs to be more vocal, demanding the rest of the Cowboys defensive players follow his lead. D Ware has been on track to a Hall of Fame career, but that has yet to translate to the Cowboys defense being anything more than average. Average will not cut it this year. That’s why Rob Ryan is gone and Monte Kiffin is here.
Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett, and his entire staff – particularly new play caller, Bill Callahan, and QB coach, Wade Wilson – have to have this Cowboys team prepared and focused from the first practice, the first scrimmage. They need to dial in and never waiver. The Dallas Cowboys can’t afford risky pass plays when they are up by two touchdowns. They need to chew up the clock with the run game when they have the lead. They can’t ice their own kicker or let the play clock expire while Romo is still trying to get the line set and the play called. Garrett has to get a handle on game and clock management at training camp or relinquish that duty too.
This year, CowboysNation wants to start seeing results. The Dallas Cowboys team should too. We don’t want to hear the carnival music in the background while the offense and defense run around on the field. We want to see execution, cohesion, purpose. A well oiled machine, not a circus act. And that has to start from day one at training camp.