No season in recent memory will begin with as many unanswered questions as will this upcoming campaign. It’s not as if Dallas is unaccustomed to off season reshuffling of the deck. In fact, it has almost become an annual right of passage for America’s Team. Having said that, there seem to be cultural shifts taking place at Valley Ranch in terms of how the locker room chemistry is viewed, leadership roles, Wade’s future and the type of team image Dallas wants to portray along with the usual questions around individual and group performances. Just consider some of the questions that will not only be answered, but done so resoundingly, by season’s end;
Will Tony Romo finally LEAD this team over the hump now that his ‘distractions’ have been minimized or will he continue to be known more for miscues than magic?
Is Roy Williams the next great Dallas Wide Receiver or ‘the worst trade ever’?
Will Jason Garrett be able to gameplan in a way that maximizes the value of the weapons on offense or will he end up looking inexperienced and getting outcoached regularly?
Can Jon Kitna step in and win some games if he has to?
Can Felix Jones pick up where he left off and add that much needed, explosive dimension to Dallas’ running game?
Can Hudson Houck help this offensive line return to the dominance it flashed in 2007, or will it continue 2008’s decline?
Is Marion Barber not who we thought he was or will he re-emerge as a dominant power back?
Can Tashard Choice take that next step toward what many think could be greatness or was he a flash in the pan?
Will Wade be able to turn this defense, with his revamped defensive backfield, into one that can stifle opponents on a regular basis or will it wear down in the clutch?
What does Keith Brooking have left in the tank?
Who backs up Jay Ratliff?
ON SPECIAL TEAMS
Will Joe DeCamilis turn the Special Teams unit around or will it continue to be a lackluster group?
Can Wade harness his inner ‘Buddy Ryan’ to get more out of his players than in the past?
What impact will the new and improved locker room have on the performance of this team during key games in December and January?
Can this draft class impress enough in training camp to make the final 53 and help churn out the bottom of the roster?
Will Dallas finally win a playoff game?
What does Wade have to do to keep his job?
No doubt about it, this iteration of the Dallas Cowboys comes into the 2009 Season with as many, if not more, questions as they have had in the last decade. The roster is still loaded with talent and potentially a boatload of pro bowl performers, but there are also significant unknowns around their depth at key positions as well as a coaching staff on the hot seat. There’s a lot less hype, and thus pressure, than in previous years and that may prove to be a good thing. Instead of answering questions from reporters, they can all focus on answering these questions with positive answers from their play on the field.