Hello again Cowboys Nation. This is my second fan post; It's predecessor being the controversial Speak No Evil where I expressed my "middle of the road" stance on Romo pertaining to the past and going forward. Though a few things were misrepresented in the responses that would follow it was still great to get input and even have a few people understand where I was really going with that. Now this is the worst part of the "off"-season for me with so little football talk because I know the next step is the biggest heading into the new football year. I'm obviously talking about training camp and preseason. Around this time I do nothing but look at past statistics, keep up with players via Twitter and think about how my team can make themselves relevant again in the playoff scene. Guess I'll just dabble in a few things about what I hope to see in the 2012 Dallas Cowboys.
This offseason I made a mistake that I don't recall ever making before and I'm just now really getting over it. That mistake is falling in love with a draft prospect; and I was a victim of Mark Barron. Leading up to the draft there were a few different players that were linked to the Cowboys like Michael Brockers, Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox, Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, Quiton Coples and of course Mark Barron. Now I spent some time dwelling on the idea of a few of those players with a star on their helmet but the one that felt most comforting was Barron. Coming off of a championship year with Alabama and coming from a football program like that ; Mark was looking the part of someone who could come into Arlington and have an immediate impact. I watched as many YouTube videos I could find on him and was thoroughly impressed with his run support, hard hitting and confidence. I was always fascinated by the Cowboys but because I had no football fan influences it took me a while to really get into football and by that time Darren Woodson wouldn't be around much longer. Roy Williams was my favorite Cowboy for a while but it became painful to watch him being exposed for not being a good deep cover DB. Some people said the same would be the case with Barron but I can only go off of what I saw in highlights and I didn't see that weakness.
Fast forwarding past that; once we drafted Morris Claiborne it was bitter sweet. I had wanted Barron but was excited that we were acquiring the best Cornerback in the draft and on top of that we had already improved the position in free agency with Brandon Carr. Keeping up with Morris since the draft by reading quotes and watching a few interviews I get the best impression of him. He's been dying to get on the field and has been taking all the mental reps he can. It's gonna be really exciting to see him with a helmet and shoulder pads on mixing it up with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. I think those two have the perfect skill sets to prepare Claiborne for the opponents he'll face in the NFL and he's not working against a scrub quarterback either. With improved cornerbacks hopefully Rob Ryan can really unleash a healthier pass rush on third downs without having to worry about the coverage not being able to hold their own. I couldn't stand watching quarterbacks have so much time to make decisions on third down when we needed to get the ball back to our offense.
Another thing about getting the ball back to the offense is shorter fields but that also reminds me of our redzone play last year. I found our percentages on teamrankings.com and we were ranked on the bottom half. This seems like a job for the man with the headset, Jason Garrett. Coming into his second full season as the head coach I hope to see improvements in game management. At some points I think he could've ran the ball more and other times he needed to let it fly and if he gets that all figured out then we should be better off than 20th in the league in redzone scoring (touchdowns). With your quarterback coming off his best statistical season and your lead running back being DeMarco Murray I think he's got his hands full with options on how to score. I love Felix Jones but he's definitely a better complimentary runningback than lead rusher.
Now to end this I've got to say other than the new players I'm mostly looking forward to my favorite player, Miles Austin, being back in action and 100% healthy. I often defend him the way most Cowboy fans defend Tony Romo and with Mike Woicik back on the staff I hope he can have a full season to produce and make this passing attack all it can be. With Dez's role in the offense his rookie year along with Miles missing six games last year I think we have yet to see what they can really do as a tandem. For those who are looking to see Dez become the next Michael Irvin or maybe even get into current top WR discussions with Calvin and Larry; I think it all starts with No. 19. He's a reliable option no matter where he lines up on the field and a team oriented player that can enhance and motivate Dez Bryants play. Well that's it for me on this FanPost. Also just for old times sake... I think the pass to Miles in our first meeting with the Giants, that would've sealed the deal, was overthr....nevermind (runs for cover). Til next time; Go Cowboys :)