Austin On Dallas: Cowboys Pre-Camp Predictions, Buy Or Sell?


With so many recent off-the-field developments in the newly ressurected soap opera world of the Dallas Cowboys, it’s a good time for another game of ‘Buy or Sell’.  I’ll make the statement, and then give my ‘buy or sell’ decision, with my reasoning to follow.  I’d also like to hear readers’ buy or sell viewpoints and thoughts on each.  Feel free to fire away.

First we will start it off with predictions addressing the recent developments prior to the start of training camp.

  • Dez Bryant will face some form/length of regular season suspension for breaking the conduct policy (assuming his charges are dropped)

SELL.  While Dez Bryant has had a few small prior scrapes with almost crossing the line with the league, he is also yet to be proven guilty of anything in any of these occurrences.  And honestly, this last one was the only one remotely near being a real problem or stain on his record.  While the accusation and arrest was a serious matter, once his past behavior is reviewed there will not be enough cause for a suspension.  That is assuming the charges are dropped as I believe they will be.  He is still without any conviction and this was his first arrest since joining the league.  Roger Goodell will require some sort of intensive counseling program to be completed.  Dez will be warned he is out of rope for the future, but no suspension will result this time around.

  • Matt McBriar, as an Eagle, will punt for a longer average in 2012 than Chris Jones will for Dallas

BUY.  I have to believe that McBriar is fully healed and showed during workouts that his previous form is back in effect.  If Dallas wasn’t so high on Chris Jones and the price for McBriar wasn’t much greater, Dallas wouldn’t have let him get away to a division rival.  I’m sure Dallas understands if Matt stays healthy he will out-punt the younger Jones, but they feel Jones is good enough to get by with and save some cash.  Not to mention Jones has much more left on the tires in terms of a career going forward.  Chris Jones is a pretty good punter, a healthy Matt McBriar he will never be.  McBriar was an elite player for the Dallas Cowboys in his time with the team.

Now let’s move on to predictions for the upcoming training camp…

  • Phil Costa will emerge victorious as the starting center when training camp ends

SELL.  Phil Costa will not make a big enough jump from last year to this year and it will show in camp.  As it shakes out the Cowboys will realize they need to step it up at center as Costa’s progress wasn’t as big as expected.  Bill Nagy can be a much better player if he can get used to the center position.  If this was a battle for guard between the two, Nagy would win hands down.  But center is a whole different animal and how fast Nagy can adjust to it will decide a lot.  Furthermore, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a veteran added during camp that wrestles the starting job away.  Cough Cough…Andre Gurode…cough cough.

  • Another young receiver besides Andre Holmes will make a strong push for a starting spot in the top 4

BUY.  I’m not sure who it will be as I haven’t seen enough of most of them, but it seems every year a young guy that is less expected to turn heads makes a huge case in camp and hears his name exit the mouth of the media on a very regular basis.  Andre Holmes is now expected by everyone to be a standout in camp, and that’s kind of unfortunate for the green player with no regular season experience.  I’d rather see him do his thing without all the constant media pressure that Jerry has bestowed upon him in the off-season.  But then again, this is the big leagues so all is fair.  I do expect another youngster to be the talk of camp, and I’m not giving up on Danny Coale being that guy once he is well enough to get in some real practice reps and pre-season games.

  • John Phillips will step up in the second tight-end role and prove there will be no drop-off

BUY.  I believe John Phillips has what it takes to be a good tight-end in this league.  Even a step above the thankfully departed Martellus Bennett.  Just two training camps ago in 2009. in his second season Phillips was lighting it up in San Antonio.  He had become the undisputed prize player of that camp before tearing his ACL and wiping out his year.  Out of the blue he was the one guy I was most impressed with on the entire team that camp.  He really looked like a big contributor for the upcoming season.  When he went down it took the wind out of most Cowboys fans’ sails for a few days.  With Phillips getting a new life this year and a true chance to shine with no goofball veteran named Marty-B in his way, he will once again show that monster side of him that excited Cowboys so much back in August 2009.

Okay Cowboys fans, let’s hear your thoughts.  Here’s hoping training camp will get underway smoothly from here on out and the team will put all these recent off the field setbacks in the rearview mirror.  It’s now time for the boys in silver and blue to clear their heads, buckle it up tight, and take care of business on the field in Oxnard, CA.