Howdy to all the Cowboy fans out there. It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this great website, but I've got some thoughts that I'd like to throw out there. I really do enjoy this time of year because it is filled with so much hope, and it's great to hear everybody's thoughts on the best way to fix the Cowboy's roster. Often times we disagree about the best way to improve the Cowboys, but it is wonderful to see so many passionate people are trying to make the Cowboys Superbowl contenders once again. In this post, I would like to examine what it takes to win the Superbowl and how the Cowboys can get there.
I know that the Cowboys roster has a lot of holes (secondary, interior o-line, pass rush), but this team is not that far away from being a legit Superbowl contender. The Cowboys do have a lot of holes, and they are far from a perfect team, but what team doesn't have flaws? Take a look at the two teams in the Superbowl right now. These two teams are far from perfect, and they have a lot of weaknesses on their teams. The Patriot's defense is just atrocious...I mean they are just downright bad. I know the Cowboy's defense was bad, but I think that I would rather have the Cowboy's defense than the Pats. Also, look at the Giants. The Giants were 7-7, and they have many flaws on their team (TE, secondary, linebacker). Heck, if Romo is able to complete that third down pass to Miles in the first game with the Giants, they wouldn't have even made the playoffs. I look at all of the contenders around the league and they all have flaws. Rarely is there ever an NFL team that is flawless. I remember looking at the Steelers the last couple of years watching their terrible o-line, yet they were in the Superbowl last year. So you can have flaws, and you don't have to be a perfect team, but there are two things that you need to be Superbowl contenders. The first thing is a franchise QB. This is a no brainer. It's a passing league, and a franchise QB can cover up many of your flaws. I know Romo gets a lot of criticism, but we can definitely win a Superbowl with Romo at QB. We have much bigger problems on our team than QB. The other thing that a team must have to contend for a Superbowl is an elite unit which the Cowboys do not have. You have to be GREAT on at least one unit of your team to contend for a Superbowl. By units, I mean o-line, d-line, LBs, secondary, skill positions,etc. You must have a GREAT unit to contend for a title. Look at all of the top contenders this year. San Fran had a ton of flaws on their team, but they had a great front 7. Having a great unit can help you contend in everygame, and it at least gives you a chance of making a run. Plus it makes the other units on the team much better. Carlos Rogers was a joke before this season, and Goldston could not cover anybody, but San Fran's front 7 was able to improve their secondary quite a bit and turn some average guys into ProBowlers. Look at the Giants...they have a great d-line, and that at least gave them a chance to make a run for the Superbowl. The Packers had an amazing set of WRs and QB, the Pats have a great QB and set of TEs. My point is that every team has areas where they could improve, but the contenders were all elite in at least one area. Look at the Colts. They obviously had a ton of flaws, but they were elite at QB which made them contenders every year.
I feel like this is an issue with the Cowboys. We are not elite at any one thing, and we still don't have an identity. I would love for us to try to make at least one unit on our team elite. I would love to see the Cowboys have an elite o-line, and I think this is the perfect off season for us to do this. The Cowboys have lots of talent at the skills positions, but the weakness of the offense is on the interior of the o-line. Thankfully, Romo is athletic enough to avoid a lot of pressure (remember how he overcame the terrible o-line play to beat the Dolphins?), but I would love to see what Romo could do if he was not running for his life all the time. I understand that the defense still has it's issues, and I would like to address them, but I would love to see what this team could do with great o-line play. This team would at least have a shot to make a run at a Superbowl, and they could have the pieces in place to contend in every game. In this league, that's all you can ask for is to have a chance to make a Superbowl run(Giants and Packers barely got in in the past two seasons, but they at least had to pieces in place to make a run).
I think we have an opportunity to make this o-line great, and it won't stop us from improving the defense this off season. Because of the talent in this year's draft and free agency, this is shaping up perfectly for us. There's a few things we can do to make this o-line great. First of all, flip Tyron and Free. Free struggled at times last year, but has been a very productive RT for us in the past. Smith is a freak, and he is only going to get better, so I think this is a no brainer. He has the athleticism that you need to be a dominant LT in this league. That leaves us with the interior of the o-line to fill. I think that at least one of these spots could be filled from somebody on this Cowboy's roster...Arkin, Kowalski, Nagy, Holland, Kosier...who knows. Let these guys battle it out for one spot, and fill the other two through free agency and the draft. Let me give you a few ideas on how we could do this:
1. Break the bank and sign Nicks and draft DeCastro if he is there at 14 and fill the center position from the current roster
2. Sign Chris Meyers for a much more reasonable price and draft DeCastro at 14.
Either of these options will turn the Cowboys o-line into an elite unit. This free agency and draft is exciting because it has potential to fill a lot holes on the roster. What the Cowboys do in free agency obviously affects how they draft, and it's like putting together a big puzzle. This off season it's going to be about trying to figure out how to make maximize all the moves we make, and how to make all these additions to the team improve the Cowboys the most. What are some of the "dream scenarios" you guys have? You guys know what I mean by dream scenarios. The best case offseason scenario that is actually feasible. I've come up with about a million of these scenarios, but here is the one I have been considering lately.
Do whatever it takes to sign Nicks. He will only be 27 when the season starts, and he is the best guard in football. Pair him next to Tron on the left side of the line and imagine the possibilities. This will take up a large hunk of the salary cap, so he will be our only big splash in free agency. Cowboys will still have enough money to keep Laurent Robinson. You could argue that Center was actually the biggest weakness last year, so the Cowboys could address this in the draft. The Cowboys could trade down to the 20s and select Kontz and pick up another 2nd round pick in the process. I feel like the 2nd round this year is the sweet spot when it comes to defensive backs. We could draft 2 CBs (or a CB and safety) and improve our secondary quite a bit. Adding two new CBs would vastly improve this Defense, and this team as a whole. We would at least be competent in the secondary, and we wouldn't have to worry about blowing a double digit lead in the 4th quarter like we did 3 times last year. This would give the Cowboys and elite oline, and this would give them a shot at making a run.