2013 Dallas Cowboys NFL Team Preview
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The Dallas Cowboys aren’t going away yet. After two more middle of the pack finishes, the team returns a coach on the hot seat in Jason Garrett, who has every assurance he is on Jerry Jones’ hot seat. The team must make the playoffs at least this season or Garrett is as good as gone. And as good as this team can be, Cowboys fans are painfully aware that their overly touted quarterback Tony Romo has just one career playoff win. This isn’t a team on the brink, but they are too good to count out entirely, in other words.
Garrett is turning all offensive play calling over to Bill Callahan. Callahan is probably going to look to utilize the run a lot more tis season, which would make a lot more sense if the team had great running backs. Dallas will utilize DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle, but neither offers a lot to get excited about. Murray missed six games with a sprained foot last season, but Randle is a very similar player which means the Cowboys won’t have a lot of variation with their ground schemes. Both are average NFL backs at best, and Romo’s best days may be behind him.
Romo will have a good receiving option in Dez Bryant. Bryant caught 1,382 yards last year with 12 TDs and played the last month of the season with a broken finger. Bryant believes he can receive over 2,000 yards this season, and he’s with a QB who will be enthused to do it. Miles Austin is a questionable starter due to his inability to stay healthy, but he is consistently good when he is (943 yards).
Adding in third-round pick Terrence Williams and Dwayne Harris gives the Cowboys a good quartet of receivers, which would lend one to think Callahan sticks more tightly to the former scheme than the overwhelming need for change dictates. The weak offensive line will pose problems for both run and pass protection, though, so that mitigates the possible potential of the Cowboys’ offense.
The Cowboys shifted to a 4-3 defense last season on defense. The defensive line is in transition, but DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer are both expected to be very strong in the new scheme. Expect a lot of great pass rushing, as both were ends in college and have a lot of speed. Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are going to have to rebound well fro injury, but are both great LBs, and Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne both play the secondary very well in man-to-man coverage.
This team has to contend in its conference for their coach to keep their job. Whether or not that motivates players, there is a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and Romo is still a quasi-elite quarterback, his lack of postseason success notwithstanding.
With the receiving corp Romo has, and the game changers on the defensive side of the ball, this team could easily win the division. To expect any greater success would be slightly foolish due to the lack of rushing options to balance the offensive attack.
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