t’s that glorious yet horrifying time of the year again, time for some Dallas Cowboys football. The team kicked off the 2014 season last week as they began training camp in Oxnard, California. There are many question marks and concerns surrounding my Cowboys this year, and I’m going to walk through all of them and give you my insight and predictions for America’s Team.
The first thing that comes to mind for everyone regarding the Cowboys is Tony Romo. Oh Tony, another year where you’re apparently on the hot seat. Not many sports players have been criticized like Romo. While he has had trouble remaining consistent throughout the course of an entire season, Romo is undoubtedly one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Throwing 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, Romo had a great 2014 year, including a game against the Broncos where he threw for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns, only the 5th player in NFL history to do that. It’s hard to say which Tony Romo will show up this season, but if its like what we saw in 2014, then the Cowboys should feel pretty good about whose under center.
Next topic is the talented but troubled Dez Bryant. Bryant was ripped apart by the media last year for lashing out on his teammates on the sidelines. A Cowboys wide receiver having temper problems on the sidelines? I think we’ve seen that before (Irvin and Owens). All that being said, I believe Bryant can be the second best receiver in the league, behind Calvin Johnson. This is the season where you’ll see him start burning teams with yards after catch. Bryant has the potential to have a monstrous year in 2014, if he keeps his head on straight.
Now, I discuss possibly the worst defense in the entire NFL. Last year, this defense was historically bad, Dallas ranked 30th in passing yards allowed with 286.8 given up per game. Somehow they managed to keep their head above water and their record at .500 for the season, despite having one of the worst overall defensive units in the league. Oh, and did I mention that the Cowboys lost the franchises career leader in sacks, DeMarcus Ware? Ware is gone to Denver, and linebacker Sean Lee is out for a year after tearing his ACL. It’s also panic time when outside linebacker Bruce Carter gets matched up in space with smaller, quicker running backs. Carter has had a solid offseason, but the clock’s ticking on his career. So far, he’s wasted much of his potential.
The last topic I will discuss is the head coach, Jason Garrett. Garrett is indeed, on the hot seat. Three straight 8-8 years where the Cowboys were one win away from being division champs. You can look at that as a positive, where at least Dallas was in that position, however, with this being the Dallas Cowboys, most people just look at it as Garrett’s team choking. This is the final season of Garret’s contract. Jerry Jones desperately wants him to succeed, but another 8-8 season would likely get him fired. And if you haven’t been keeping up, the Cowboys go 8-8 every season. Garrett will have some help on the offensive side with new coordinator Scott Linehan, who came over from Detroit. If the Cowboys can win the NFC East or even advance to the playoffs, then Garrett will most likely keep his job. However, it’s hard to see him getting an extension with anything short of that.
The Dallas Cowboys have some of the best individual talent in the league, however that will not help win the big games. Dallas is in one of the most chaotic and, depending on the year, toughest divisions in the league, so an NFL East championship is never out of the question. But in order to make it to the biggest stage in professional sports, you have to win the important games, and in the last 18 years, the Cowboys have exactly one playoff win.