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Injuries plagued the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 season and the team finished 8-8, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The offense was particularly short-handed throughout the year after losing Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and Demarco Murray to injury for different stretches of the season. Hopefully Tony Romo’s new contract along with a healthy offense can lead to a few more W’s in the win column. On the defensive side of the ball the team got rid of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who will be replaced by Monte Kiffin. Lets see if this change can help a defensive that struggled all season, especiall with adjusting to RGIII and the read-option, which they get the opportunity to see twice a year.
But not cigar. That describes the Cowboys the last few years, as it did on Sunday. A poor drop on a two-point conversion blew the game for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys were 8-8 last year and will go 8-8 this year. They aren’t a bad team, but a notch below the Eagles and Giants.
The Dallas Cowboys were a completely different team with Wade Phillips opposed to Jason Garrett at the helm. Under Phillips they appeared unfocused and lackadaisical. With Garrett in charge, however, the Cowboys were determined and regained some focus, even with Tony Romo out of the lineup. Now, with Garrett and Romo back with a fresh start, the Cowboys look to rebound after last year’s disappointment. Gone from the team are headaches Roy E. Williams and Marion Barber, but also linemen Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis. Doug Free was re-signed and Tyron Smith was drafted in the top 10. Smith is an athletic lineman, but needs to add bulk to his slight frame. The line is a work in progress right now, but it is believed they will be ready to go by opening day and hopefully protect Romo better. Romo will have his young guns Miles Austin and Dez Bryant rearing to go as well as the always consistent Jason Witten at tight end. The X-factor for the offense is running back Felix Jones. Jones, always a home run threat, was underutilized during the Wade Phillips regime, but really took off under Garrett. He could be poised for a huge year.
There was not a lot of activity on the defensive side of the ball during the off-season. Marcus Spears was re-signed at defensive end and linebacker Bruce Carter was drafted out of North Carolina. Carter is a very good athlete, but is raw after missing time with suspension during his college tenure. He will be groomed by incumbent starter Keith Brooking with the possibility of taking over next year or in case of injury. The major acquisition for the defense was defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. If Ryan is anything like his brother, Rex, expect the Cowboys to take a leap forward from their underachieving ways. Dallas definitely has the talent to be a very good defense with Demarcus Ware, Mike Jenkins, Terrence Newman, Jay Ratliff, Anthony Spencer and company, they have just lacked the focus and discipline to put it all together.
With a pair of new coaches at the helm the Cowboys expect to contend in the NFC East, even with the so-called Dream Team over in Philadelphia. A new found focus coupled with the embarrassment of last season could make the Dallas a very tough out no matter who the opponent is this season. Look for Dallas to contend for the division title or one of the wild card spots in the NFC.
The word reverberates in his mind following every heart-breaking, season ending defeat: Choke. When you look up choke in the dictionary, a picture of Tony Romo’s face comes up, and all you see is that smug grin that makes us Eagle fans hate on him so much. Choking is all he’s ever done in the clutch, and for the life of me, I don’t know how anyone in their right mind can actually put the Cowboys in the Super Bowl conversation entering this season. Sure, they will make the playoffs. Heck, with the amount of talent they have on both sides of the ball, they should win the division handily. And as the Eagles will almost assuredly be eliminated from contention by season’s end, at least I can sit back and enjoy watching Romo conjure up yet another creative way to blow an 11-12 win season for the Dallas Cowboys. Things just seem so much easier during the regular season, huh Tony?
Let’s think back to Romo’s first ever playoff start…you remember, right Cowboys fans? The game where Romo drove the Cowboys all the way down the field to set up the would be go ahead field goal, then botched the snap on the field goal attempt? And then there was the 44-6 loss to the Eagles on the final day of the regular season, and of course last season, when Romo was absolutely manhandled by the ferocious Minnesota defensive front. Well, news flash, Tony…it’s not easy to win playoff games in the NFL, so stop crying. You are to blame for the Cowboys failures over the last few years.
I will say, however, that I commend the job done by Jerry Jones in the last few months. He’s been able to overcome all the hardships in his life and avoid being drunkenly videotaped saying something outrageously stupid to a complete stranger. Cowboy fans, you should be proud.
Prediction: Dallas will finish 12-4 and lose in the second round. And yes, I will have my popcorn ready.
In the next few weeks leading up to the beginning of the 2010 NFL season, I will be making predictions for every division in both conferences. I am starting off with the always tough NFC East, where every team in the division has a chance to be over .500. I am starting off with who will finish last in the division and work my way up to the division winner.
1. Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys should repeat as division winners this season. After going 11-5 last season, the Cowboys will probably be around that same record this season. With the emergence of Miles Austin, the Cowboys are a dangerous team. Tony Romo to Miles Austin is what you would hear at least eight times a game last season when you watched a Cowboys games. Austin’s speed is unstoppable, no one can catch up to him. Because of Austin’s speed, he will probably be double covered and sometimes tripe covered all game. This will help all of the other aspects of the Cowboys offense, especially Jasn Witten, he should find a lot of open space down the middle of the field. Then of course there’s the Cowboys thee-headed monster in Marion Barber, Tashard Choice, and Felix Jones at running back. All three of these guys could be starters on other teams.
The Cowboys will need their offense to carry the load this season because their defense is aging and getting slower. The Cowboys have one of the top offenses in the league and it should make them division winners for their second year in a row. The Cowboys will probably finish the season at 11-5.
Click here to read the full article – By Eric Heyer of Sports Fan Blog Network