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Blog Entry

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:06 pm
 
Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



In terms of disappointment, the 2010 Dallas Cowboys more than lived up to the “Everything’s big in Texas” phrase. The year that was supposed to end with Jerry Jones’ team being the first to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium instead ended in effect before Thanksgiving.

Wade Phillips was no longer the coach at that point and Tony Romo had been sidelined for the past month with what would turn out to be a season-ending fractured clavicle. Can’t blame the face-plant on Romo’s injury, though.

After all, the Cowboys were 1-5 in games their star quarterback started.



Brooking quickly established himself as the defense’s emotional leader when he arrived in 2009. Because he’s been in his 30s since the Bush Administration, everyone has assumed he’s on the cusp of washing up.

That simply hasn’t been true…until now. Last season Brooking showed hints of decline in struggling to get off blocks. He is still a dominant player when pursuing the ball untouched, but in a 3-4, inside linebackers can’t count on regularly being untouched.

Lee, a second-round pick out of Penn Stage last year, overtook Bradie James in nickel packages. Lee has good natural change of direction ability and, in a limited sampling, has shown adequate instincts. As great organizations like the Eagles and Patriots have illustrated over the years, it’s better to replace someone a year too early rather than risk keeping him a year too long.




1. Safety
The game is evolving to where safeties are becoming vital for creating deception and disguise in a defensive scheme. The only experienced safety on Dallas’ roster is Alan Ball, and he just converted from cornerback last year.

2. Offensive Linemen
Right tackle Marc Colombo’s lack of athleticism finally caught up to him last season. Right guard Leonard Davis may have remained benched if backup Montrae Holland had been more reliable. Davis really struggled with lateral movement in pass protection last season. Left guard Kyle Kosier is an unrestricted free agent.

3. Cornerback
It may be time to start grooming Terence Newman’s replacement. Newman will be 33 when (if) this season opens up. He’s no longer quick enough to play man coverage with the cushy buffer zone he prefers. Orlando Scandrick is not the guy to replace Newman long-term. The third-year pro is better equipped to defend the slot and must first bounce back from a difficult sophomore campaign.




It’s “America’s Team”, so there’s always talk of a Lombardi Trophy. But how about having no expectations and just shutting up for a change?

It’s well known the Cowboys have as much talent as any team. What needs changing is the way they manage that talent.

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Comments
fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:03 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:53 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:25 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

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Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: April 28, 2011 5:55 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

 

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nickyc816
Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 2:19 pm
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Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

There is one problem and one problem only with the Dallas Cowboys...... AND THAT IS JERRY JONES. 

All I ever read lately is the Cowboys have all this talent.  PLS tell me where.  Our dratfs under this clown have been a joke.  Our '09 draft is non-existent.  Jimmy Johnson, who ran the draft, made the Cowboys of the 90's.  Bill Parcells replenished the talent for the last of the 2000's.  Jerry Jones is a joke and until he decides to hire a real GM, this team will never win again. 

JERRY JONES..... U R A JOKE.  Hire me, I can run the draft better than u with my eyes shut.     



Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

I think to say that the offense wasn't the problem is a mistake. How many three and outs did they have this year? How many sustained drives that at least ate time off the clock? When the defense is troubled and can be picked apart, the offense has to perform- they didn't, not consistently anyways. The O-line play was terrible- Gurode had a mediocre year, Davis seemed unmotivated, and Columbo is a backup at this point. You also need to consider that the running game was somewhere between bad and inconsistent. Though there were some bright spots near the end of the season. I realize that the defense has needs but to put everything on them is wrong. On a semi-separate note, I like Romo as the QB but at what point do you have to weigh stats against grit and winning. He just doesn't seem to play like a guy that expects to win every week. Screw humility. I want an aggressive QB that shoulders the load publically but is calling guys out in the locker room and generally kicking but to get guys on the same page as him. From what is heard about the lockerroom in Big D, it sounds alot more like high school than a group of professionals earning their paychecks.



Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:12 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

The cowboys offense has not been the problem! There defense has been horrendous! After last year where they gave up more points, yards and big plays than anyone they have some serious holes to fill! Rob Ryan really has his work cut out for him! There secondary was nonexistent giving up an average of almost 250 yards a game through the air and 12 plays over 40 yards. It was no secret that the way to beat the boys was through the air. Newman is not the player he once was and isnt getting any younger at 33 years old. Jenkins has been a disappointment up to this point and seems to give up to many big plays on third down. Neither safety looks to be anything more than an average player or a corner converted to safety (alan ball). But it wasnt all there fault! Lack of pressure up front leaves to much time for opposing QB's to shred the weak secondary. Aside form Ware doing his usual beast routine there was little pressure from the other positions. Spencer and Olshanski were average at best and Brooking is 36 and starting to slow down and had trouble in coverage. Sean Lee is a question mark on whether he can be a full time LB and lacks speed in coverage. At DT ratliff was a monster in 2009 but had a fall off in production in 2010. The draft can be a good cure to some of the cowboys woes but it will be more of ryan harnessing and using the talent his is given in the proper schemes to hide the holes they will probably still have. They are an extremely talented  UNDERACHIEVING team that lack discipline and drive last year! It will start with the coaches if there will be any changes in big D. U can only live off of reputation for so long before people realize the the hype around u is just that, Hype. It should be interesting to see the heart of "Americas Team!"




Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:27 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

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Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Dallas Cowboys

The only real problem the Cowboys have is thier total lack of control and leadership. You dont go from several years of playing good to one very bad season in one season unless you have some real problems in the front office and in the lockeroom. While I agree the teams needs some help in the secondary and on the O-Line, what they really need is someone to get into their asses in make them play like there is no tomorrow. To say something different is stupid. People have all their own opinions because if you dont love them you hate them. The green bay guys is a total moron. Green Bay is a great team by the way and I love me some Aaron Rodgers. What happened last year is the Cowboys total lack of leadership showed when they faced adversity. Good ole Wade didnt have it in him to turn it around. Garrett did last season. I tell you this. If they can stay healthy and get some leadership in the locker room that carries onto the field they are going to be one hard team to beat.

You can say what you want. Maybe the cowboys are hated because they have gone to the playoffs 30 times and the next closest I believe is the Vickings with 26. Say what you want about the last decade or so but I am sure our peeps in AZ or TB would love to be able to say something like that.

Loosers


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com