2009 Dallas Cowboys Season Preview
2009 Dallas Cowboys preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC East once again houses 4 phenominal teams all capable at making a run through the playoffs. We will likely see teams over and undervalued off one good or bad performance. As NFL picks handicappers we can keep you on the undervalued and off the overvalued teams.
2009 Dallas Cowboys Predictions
By Adam Barone
There were some huge expectations for the Cowboys going into the 2008 season, but they failed to even make the playoffs. Owner Jerry Jones felt that changes were necessary afterward, so receiver Terrell Owens was shown the door. Former Detroit Lion and, more importantly, Texas Longhorn Roy Williams will be expected to step into the primary receiver role after looking awful once arriving last season. The Cowboys will also start playing in their brand new $1.1 billion stadium in Arlington this coming season.
Quarterback Tony Romo is widely considered one of the league’s best, but finished with just 3,448 yards through the air in 2008 with Owens in the lineup. Romo’s problems have included leading the team to big wins and getting fat with his girlfriend. He’ll likely have less stress this season with Owens pouring popcorn into his facemask somewhere else, but will need to find a new go-to receiver outside of tight end Jason Witten. Jon Kitna was brought in to replace Brad Johnson as the backup, and Johnson was placed in an assisted living facility.
The running backs will likely be the focal point of the offense this season, as the Cowboys have three talented ball carriers in Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Barber’s season lagged at the end because of injuries, and Felix Jones spent all but six games on injured reserve. Their absences seemed pretty sweet to Choice, as they allowed him the opportunity to start three games at the end of the season. He piled up 472 yards rushing in those three games, averaging 5.1 yards per carry over the course of the season. He could be the best all-around back of the three.
The line is solid with Andre Gurode in the middle, and Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo on the right side. The left side is anything but solid. Left tackle Flozell Adams stole a $43 million contract extension before the season and proceeded to allow 7.25 (?) sacks. It hasn’t been decided who will start at left guard, but Kyle Kosier is the favorite.
Right end Chris Canty left through free agency and was replaced by Igor Olshansky. Olshansky played under Ted Phillips in San Diego after being imported from Transylvania. Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff will still anchor the defense.
The linebackers are the best and most important unit on the defense, led by outside linebacker and blitz monster DeMarcus Ware. Ware had 20 sacks last season. Greg Ellis is gone from the other side and will be replaced by third year man Anthony Spencer. Spencer is widely considered to have the potential to be a double-digit sack artist. Former Falcon Keith Brooking will step into the middle alongside Bradie James, who led the team in tackles last season, as he did the three before, with 206.
Cornerback Terence Newman missed six games last season with a hernia. Free safety Ken Hamlin had a subpar season with just 74 tackles, one sack, and one interception. Cornerback Anthony Henry and strong safety Roy Williams are gone. Combine all that, and the secondary will need to rebound in 2009, with free agent Gerald Sensabaugh and second year Michael Jenkins stepping in.
The Cowboys drafted kicker David Buehler to be the kickoff specialist, while Nick Folk will be limited to field goal duties. Felix Jones will return kickoffs and DeAngelo Smith will take over punt returning duties.
It’s really a surprise that head coach Wade Phillips was allowed to return considering how disappointing the 2008 season was. Jerry Jones is also to blame for the current situation, after he spent three high draft picks to bring in receiver Roy Williams. Pacman Jones was also a waste of time, to say the least. There should be much less of a media circus around the Cowboys this season, which may help, but Tony Romo will need to prove himself soon. The best way to do that may be to let the talented running backs carry more of the load.