It seems the Dallas Cowboys have a new look about them. There is a lot of optimism stirring in Arlington lately. It is especially difficult to be optimistic after last season. There is still “that feeling”. You know what I’m talking about.
That feeling you got right before Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey had to kick that field goal again against the New York Giants in 2011. Still don’t remember? Here’s a clue: Giants linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul blocked it. That same feeling you got right before Cowboys backup quarterback Kyle Orton threw that interception against the Philadelphia Eagles to partly send Dallas home to another 8-8 season, and no playoff appearance for the fourth year in a row. We all know that feeling. It stays in the back of our minds. But, we still have optimism.
A lot of that optimism deflated when Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware packed his bags for Denver. Even more deflated when linebacker Sean Lee went down with a knee injury earlier this summer. The guy has a load of potential, and often finds himself to be at the right place at the right time. But, that 1% of the time Lee’s not at that place, he ends up injured.
Not all was lost. The hope was still there that maybe, just maybe, Lee could miss the first fourteen games, and play the last two. Rather than play the first two and miss the last fourteen. At least, that is how it has seemed. Now, that hope is gone.
Presently, the Cowboys in all of their effort to right the ship have made some interesting hires and signings. Some may be critical of these acquisitions, but I have that optimism still.
The Cowboys have tried signing other team’s failed first round picks in the past. Which in turn, ended up failing for the Cowboys. Names like defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones and offensive lineman Alex Barron. I think everyone reluctantly remembers Barron and the infamous holding penalty, which nullified a last minute game-winning touchdown against the Washington Redskins in 2010. That didn’t work out.
Now we have picked up quarterback Brandon Weeden (who is 30, going on retirement) defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and the illustrious line backer Rolando McClain. At this point, the Dallas Cowboys should change their name to the Dallas Polaroids for trying to bring in all these negatives and develop them. With all of that being said, there is still optimism.
These two aforementioned defensive players are obviously very talented, athletic, but underachieving players. The hope here is that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli can harvest Pro Bowl performances out of these two young players. I feel that we will see these two play a bigger role than some might expect. We need to remember that Okoye does know Marinelli well from his time with the Chicago Bears. Also, he has played alongside defensive tackle Henry Melton, who I feel will also prove to be worth the money.
If these guys don’t produce, so what? These two deals are so low risk that if they don’t work out, then the only thing Dallas is out is just a little bit of pride. After all, you can at least be be optimistic about this: the trade for McClain wasn’t like that of the one we made for Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams in 2008. Yet another team’s 1st round pick that didn’t pan out for Dallas. But that’s another story.