Austin On Dallas: 5 Cowboys Stocks…Buy, Hold, or Sell?


I’ve decided to do something a little different this week and request readers’ opinions and input on a given scenario.  Please feel free to comment on any or all of the following 5 items.  Below are the official particulars of the scenario…

You currently own a portfolio consisting of 5 Dallas Cowboys stocks.  You’d like to improve your bottom line and are adjusting your holdings to maximize value for the 2012-2013 season.  Since you already own all five stocks, they are currently set in the ‘hold’ position.

At this very moment of the off-season, it’s time to decide if you will ‘buy’ more of the stock, ‘hold’ as is, or ‘sell’ off the remaining stock at its current value.  Whatever action(s) you take will form your final portfolio for the entire upcoming season with no further adjustments.

‘BUY’ – strong enthusiasm over the stock’s current value and future potential.  Well positioned for strong gains, and at the close of the season you predict its value will be significantly greater than it is right now.

‘HOLD’ – stock has worthy value at the moment and is positioned right where it should be.  It likely won’t improve or lose much value during the season, as its value is already set where it will finish the season.

‘SELL’ – stock is overrated, will be an underachiever in 2012-13, and you want to dump it so it doesn’t drag down the rest of your portfolio.

Also, if you’d like to take the time, rank the stocks from greatest to least in terms of the current value you believe it provides to your portfolio.

Below are the 5 Cowboys stocks in question.  I have listed them from greatest to least in accordance with their value to my own portfolio.

(4.5 Stars) Rob Ryan Defense – Strong “BUY”

With much stronger personnel, especially the type of effective man corners and depth at cornerback needed to excel, the Dallas defense will storm into the top 7 defenses in the league.  As players have mentioned after OTA’s, this defense is already night and day from last year.  The ability to unleash players and pressure due to stronger coverage and a better knowledge of the full defense will result in a remarkable improvement upon last year.  Also, in his time as an NFL defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan has yet to have this high level of talent at his disposal.  Big things to come for the Rob Ryan defense.  This is the year he and the Cowboys defense become a force to be reckoned with.

(3.5 Stars) Doug Free – “BUY”

Doug Free was out of place and in over his head last year at left tackle.  The NFC East and its gauntlet of daunting pass rushers is the last division one wants to play in as a struggling left tackle.  Free is a quality starting tackle in the league who was rightfully asked to bite off more than he can chew while rookie Tyron Smith gained his professional footing.  Let’s not forget just a short time ago Doug Free was the most sought after free agent offensive tackle in the NFL.  With the switch to right tackle, he now moves back to where he fits best and will excel once again.  He may not be a dominating tackle or even the best on this team, but Free will regain his quality form and remove the weak link tag.

(2.5 Stars) Anthony Spencer – “HOLD”

DeMarcus Ware has already gone on record saying Spencer looks like a much better player than at any time with the Cowboys.  And I will accept that as fact for the simple reason that Spencer’s worth has come into question now more than any other time in his career.  More importantly he is in a contract year playing to maximize his value and new contract next off-season.  However, I’ve heard off-season praise over Spencer on plenty occasions previously, and have yet to see results showing me he is worth the franchise tag Jerry Jones generously gifted to him.  Spencer may be much improved this season and finally step up his play to another level, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

(2 Stars) Kevin Ogletree – “SELL”

There’s no doubt Kevin Ogletree will raise his value slightly from last year as he will get more playing time and doesn’t have to contend with a player of Laurent Robinson’s abilities when vying for the third receiver spot.  The youth and inexperience behind him will allow him to step up some, but I do see Ogletree forfeiting much playing time once one of the younger guys catches his stride and makes a splash.  Ogletree’s stock will rise early on, yet I believe it will also decline sharply after he eventually relinquishes the third receiver spot again during the season.

(2 Stars) Phil Costa – “SELL”

A year of starting experience and a full off-season should help Phil Costa elevate his game and be more productive with line communication and his overall play.  That being said, I still feel Costa will finish in the bottom third of NFL starting centers.  There is no way to cover up the fact that he is an undersized center with limited ability.  While he should improve marginally, it’s still merely improvement upon a very lackluster season in 2011.

I hesitantly rank Costa on par with Ogletree for the simple fact that I give him a 50% chance of not making it out of training camp as the starting center.  Even if he does, a tendency towards awful high snaps could cost him his job at any point during the season.  Phil can thank his lucky stars he only has to compete with Bill Nagy for the most part, and not Nagy and a healthy Mackenzy Bernadeau for all of training camp.

That’s the way I see it and value the 5 stocks in my portfolio.  I’d love to hear how other members of the Cowboys faithful view this scenario.  Have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend to all and…  GO COWBOYS, the one and only AMERICA’S TEAM!!!

Random Thoughts From Austin

  • Mike Jenkins –  I’m still fearful and under the impression Jerry Jones will unload Mike Jenkins during training camp for a third round pick or less.  I believe some team will get desperate at the position, offer a third round pick, and Jerry will bite.  If this happens, it will take away one of the team’s biggest advantages over most of the league and cost the Cowboys dearly at some point during the season.
  • Cowboys Stadium – A few weeks ago Manny Pacquiao was robbed, beaten, and gutted for his WBO welterweight boxing belt at the hands of the worst scoring decision made by professional boxing judges I’ve ever observed.  I scored the fight 10 rounds to 2 in favor of the eventual loser.  The rematch will undoubtedly go ahead according to the premeditated plan of promoter Bob Arum and take place on Nov. 10.  Since Vegas is widely suspected as part of the conspiracy, I’m convinced the rematch will be held at Cowboys Stadium.  The only question is can I muster enough interest to pay to watch Pacman blast Bradley and knock him out to remove all doubt?  Or will the intensely bitter taste left by the pathetic rematch scam of Top Rank boxing be enough to last me to November and boycott paying another cent for a fight that should already be settled?  I think the latter will prevail.
  • ‘New’ Big XII Conference – I’d like to welcome TCU and West Virginia to the Big XII conference and look forward to the high level of competition they will add to the league.  TCU finished #18 in the final 2011 BCS football rankings, while West Virginia landed at #23.  In 2010, TCU finished the season #3 and West Virginia took #22 in the final BCS rankings.  Both teams surpassed the exiting members of the conference in 2011, while TCU was ahead of both in 2010.