As I think about this upcoming season, one filled with the highest set of expectations since the mid 90's, there are some questions that will need to be answered (beginning tomorrow) which will ultimately decide Dallas' fate;
Can our pass defense hold up?
Last season, teams that gave us trouble were able to spread us out and pick us apart. While a great pass rush can make an average secondary look all-world, you have to wonder how Campo's DB's will perform in obvious passing situations and whether all the offseason moves will pay off.
Can we cover kicks?
It is no secret that Bruce Read's coverage teams have been pretty crappy for a while now. Giving teams a short field will make things difficult for a team with the aforementioned uncertainty in pass D. How will Keith Davis' presence change things?
Can Marion be a 19 game Barbarian?
Will Marion's style of running, coupled with the new role of lead dog in the Dallas backfield, wear him down, or worse, lead to injuries? Also, how much can Felix take some of the load off? Jones looked very mortal trying to run inside the tackles during preseason. Even with the injury to Kosier, one would think that adding Hudson Houck to the staff could yield big dividends for the stable of young RB's, right?
Can we stay out of 3rd and long?
This is a team that lacks speed on the edge. They don't threaten teams over the top, which means safeties can sit down more in the box than when facing teams with two legitimate downfield threats. As a result, will Dallas find ways to use new weapons like Felix and Bennett to help stay out of long yardage situations?
Can Wade step up and LEAD this team?
I've told all of my friends that this is the Season Of Wade. With JG as head coach in waiting and ultra-high expectations for the team, is Wade capable of changing his spots (much the way Tom Coughlin did last year) and extract the kind of disciplined execution, toughness and commitment needed to live up to the hype and secure a lasting legacy for himself? The true test may come early if the Cowboys stumble out of the gate, or late as they try to fight off another late season swoon.
One thing is for sure. Despite all of the questions, the hype and the super expectations, this team will make your NFL Sunday Ticket package worth every penny you paid for it.