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The Future of this Franchise

Right now, things aren't looking so great for the Dallas Cowboys. It isn't just that they didn't make the playoff but that they got swept by a division rival that looks unbeatable. Sure, the Cowboy defense was decimated and actually held up pretty well for most of the game, far better than I expected. But RGIII looks like a pro bowl QB for years to come and Alfred Morris looks like the next coming of Emmit Smith.

As if that weren't bad enough, Shanahan totally out-coached Garrett. Garrett had no answer for the constant blitzing. He had no answer for the Redskins' relentless rush.

Sure, the Cowboys had a LOT of injuries, but what concerns me is the gap. Yes, there are many promising young players -- Lee, Carter, Murray, Smith, Claibourne, Dez, and Hannah -- but the cornerstone players have a very limited window and replacing them will be a tremendous challenge. Spencer will warrant the franchise tag and the Cowboys don't have cap room. To commit the required big dollars to him long term -- he'll be 29 next year -- is risky. Ware, Witten and Romo all have move years, but how many and at what level of play? Will anyone be surprised to see any of them start to decline two years from now? Ratliff is likely a June cut.

The investment in Free looks terrible. Miles Austin can't stay on the field. So far, the same can be said for Murray, Carter, and Lee.

Maybe more of the rookies will pan out from the 2012 draft. Maybe we'll hit the mother load in this draft. But right now, I"m not seeing a lot of playoff games for this team.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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