It’s finally that time of year again…what I like to refer to as the NFL’s season of hope. Players from Buffalo to the Frisco Bay are headed off to camp to get ready for another gruelling NFL campaign with visions of Lombardi trophies dancing in their heads. Fans anxiously track their favorite team’s progress as the days tick down to September. For the Dallas Cowboys and their faithful followers , though, the NFL’s season of hope has turned out to be more like the days of delusion in recent years.
Could it be because the Cowboys biggest fan lost His prime seat options and got stuck with an obstructed view ticket when Jerry moved his ‘Boys to his new Playhouse with the retractable roof? I doubt it…
More likely, it has something to do with the list of injuries that piled up at The Ranch in 2012. The Cowboys are already feeling the sting of the injury bug again. On the first day of camp they lost Tyrone Crawford to a season-ending Achilles injury. Jay Ratliff, Mackenzy Bernadeau, DemetressBell and Nate Livings also missed Sunday’s sessions. We can probably safely assume that the roster spot vacated when Josh Brent retired will be used to sign help at defensive line in Crawford’s absence.
If this trend continues, might I suggest that Mr. Jones invest in a bubble wrap company so he can wrap the Cowboys in the stuff to soften the blows a bit. If that isn’t a viable option, he could, at the very least, stamp “Fragile: Do Not Bend” on DeMarco Murray’s forehead because the inexperience in the Dallas backfield scares me half to death. It would have been nice to have some veteran backup in the backfield. However, with the plethora of available experienced running backs on the free agent market this off-season, Mr. Jones and company chose to stand pat. Here’s hoping they don’t end up regretting that decision.
Another thorn in the Cowboys side in recent seasons has been the inability of our offensive line to do their job of keeping Tony Romo out of harm’s way. Sacks, forced throws and all around ugliness has been the result. Hopefully some expected shifting of player positions on the OL and the addition of rookie center Travis Frederick will bring some relief up front. Another option could be the expected use of the gazillion tight ends the Cowboys took to camp to provide blocking support.
A possible bright spot for the Cowboys going into 2013 has to be the receiving corp. If the flashes of greatness that Dez Bryant has been teasing us with morphs into a full season of consistent play…and if he can keep his emotions in check, Dallas might finally have a star worthy of wearing that most sacred of numbers…88. Miles Austin certainly has the ability to make things happen if he can manage to remain healthy. It was widely rumored that Austin might be trade bait but that, as we all know, never came to fruition. It is a pretty safe bet that he will be under the microscope in the upcoming season. A diamond in the rough has to be Dwayne Harris,s who showed us that he can make plays both at wide out and in the return game. He will likely be tested for the third receiver spot by rookie Terrance Williams.
At this point there are more questions than answers… Who will stand out at safety? Can the new defense gel quickly enough? Can Tony Romo handle the pressure of his new contract? Will my new blue velvet cupcakes bring luck on game day? All we as fans can do is wait and watch to see if the 2013 season epitaph will read: Mission Accomplished.