Hey all. I've been an avid reader of Blogging The Boys for quite some time (since back in the Raf days) and I've decided to jump into the fray. I would have added a comment on the Lurker post, but I didn't see that post until it was quite full. Before I get started, I just want to thank you all for the quality posts and the spirited debates you contribute that keep us all entertained.
So with that being said, here's the first part of a plausible (subjective I know) plan of action to get this team ready for the 2012 season. In Part I, I cover options for the offense. I had a lot of content, so I decided to split it up (it's still wordy...sorry about that). Keep in mind, this is not what I believe the Cowboys will do by any stretch, just an idea of what I'd like to see happen.
The team has to decide if McGee is a viable #2. In my opinion, he'll ever be more than what we've already seen so it's time for a change. Although the reports are we have a good amount of cap space, I don't want to tie up a lot in the QB position because quite frankly, if Romo goes down for more than a couple games, I don't think any free agent QB that doesn't cost $5 million+ will help us. The veteran I'd look to bring in would be Chris Redman. He's been a solid QB who has looked good when called upon in Atlanta. We should be able to sign him for a reasonable price. Also, a QB needs to be drafted somewhere in rounds 4-7 to be the new #3 and hopefully show enough to at least challenge for the #2 spot in 2013 or 2014. I believe in drafting a QB every two to three years until we have a guy like Matt Flynn, Matt Cassel or Matt Schaub sitting behind the starter. Hmmm, I wonder if there are any late round QBs named Matt this year...
2012 lineup: Romo, Redman, Late round draft pick
Some people feel we should try to trade Felix. I disagree for a couple reasons. When you break down his games, he actually put up good numbers when he had Fiametta ahead of him. On top of that, RB appears to be one of the deepest positions in this draft so I don't know that we'd get his true value in compensation. His contract is up next year so at that point, we let him go, hope he signs with someone else, and nets us a decent compensatory pick in 2013. As for our #3 guy, I like Tanner, but I'd bring in some undrafted rookie FAs to compete with him. I doubt a rookie beats him out of a spot on the roster, but I'd take the best one that doesn't make it and put him on the practice squad. As for FB, resigning Fiametta is a must.
2012 lineup: Murray, Fiametta, F.Jones, Tanner
OK, here's the first place that will cause some of you to shake your head. Count me in as someone who doesn't want to resign Robinson...UNLESS, we can get him at a bargain price. I don't see that option happening so it's time to face reality and accept that he will not be on the team in 2012. The fact of the matter is he's our #3 wideout and we have too many needs to use the money that is desperately needed elsewhere. We have developing guys like Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway, Andre Holmes and Jesse "clutch" Holley, to go along with a TON of free agents options. Who's to say a cheaper young vet like Josh Morgan, Harry Douglas or Chaz Shilens (just to name a few) wouldn't pull a Robinson of his own if given the chance in this offense? A guy like Eddie Royal also has to be a consideration. He has shown promise in the past as a WR and is an excellent return man, which is something we're not use to having. Now, I'm not saying I don't want Robinson back, but it's a buyers market and I'm looking for the best deal.
2012 lineup: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, #3 affordable young veteran, two or three best of Holley/Radway/Holmes/Harris
Oh Marty B...what a mess you've made of your career so far. I know some of you may be worried about losing his blocking ability, but have no fear because finding a replacement in that department will be easier than you think. It won't even cost cap space. We just need to hire a mason, ask him to build a brick wall on skids and slap Marty's jersey on it. It'll block just as well, catch just as well, move just as fast, and we won't have to put up with any idiotic videos. A bit harsh? Maybe, but, he'll want more than the veteran minimum and that'd be all I'm willing to spend on him. Phillips is two years removed from his injury and should be ready to return to the guy who was wowing us a few preseasons ago. We'll have to roll with a developmental guy as our #3.
2012 lineup: Witten, Phillips, Late round draft pick
This one is easy and everyone knows it needs to happen. We switch Smith and Free and keep Parnell and let him continue to grow. That's it.
2012 lineup: LT Smith, RT Free, Swing Tackle Parnell
I liked what I saw from Kowalski and think he may be our future at the position. However, I think he's still a work in progress and we need a stop gap player. To me, Jeff Saturday is a perfect band aid. He's up there in age so he won't command top dollar and he'd be a great leader for the offensive line. I think Killer could learn quite a bit from a guy like this. Bring in Saturday, and show the door to Costa.
2012 lineup: Saturday, Kowolski
I've saved this position for last because it has drawn the most debate: Nicks vs. DeCastro vs. non-first round guard vs. FA guard not named Nicks. Me? I'm on board the "say no to Nicks" bandwagon. He is going to get paid and paid very well; in fact too well in my opinion. If this team was one or two players away from dominance, and could afford him, I'd be all about bringing him in; however, there are just too many holes to fill and that money is needed on defense. I've already used free agent money on Redman, Fiametta, Saturday, and a young WR so it's tough to justify spending any more on offense. We do need to upgrade this position though, so a draft pick will be needed.
I love the idea of drafting DeCastro, but I actually like Ben Jones better in terms of value in the second round. He can play both guard and center and I think he's good enough to challenge for a starting spot at guard this year so I have him in this section. In 2013, he can compete with Kowalski for the center position and the runner-up may end up as a starting guard. I think we have to take a leap of faith that Nagy and Arkin will improve after their first NFL offseason. I think we have to take a leap of faith that Kosier will play better considering he played the entire season injured. I would really love Nicks or DeCastro, believe me. But, we have young guys to develop already so before we move to replace them, we have to see if they can grow and use our first rounder where there is more of an immediate need.
2012 lineup: LG Jones/Holland/Nagy, RG Kosier, Arkin
So, half the team
QB - Romo, Redman, late round QB
RB - Murray, F.Jones, Tanner
FB - Fiametta
WR - Austin, Bryant, #3 young veteran, Holley and Radway
TE - Witten, Phillips, late round pick
OL - Smith, Jones, Saturday, Kosier, Free, Arkin, Nagy, Holland, Kowalski, Parnell
Total players - 25
Part II will be coming soon. It's all written, but I don't want to do too many Fan Posts at once and kick other peoples down.
OK, let's see what you think. I know it won't please everyone (and maybe it won't please anyone), but it's good just taking part in the community...