I suppose looking into the future implies a lot of things. First off, yes there will be predictions. The Cowboys have a grand opportunity this year, after having built up momentum in the offseason for the first time in recent memory. There will be key players who play big time roles and this is an attempt at finding them. I surely hope you kind folks will put up your own predictions to match and we can have all kinds of fun in the comments.
I feel awkward speaking/writing in the first person without introducing myself a little bit.
Hello. I'm David. I'm 25 years old and I grew up a Cowboys fan. I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and I work in a cubicle for a big insurance company here. Needless to say this blog is my sanctuary. My coworkers, most of whom are not big sports fans, represent a portion of society that have a nasty case of ESPN and aren't worthy of a true toe to toe argument with a 24/7 diehard like myself...although it sure doesn't stop me from laying the smack down when provoked. I'm slowly building a memorabilia collection honoring the Cowboys and a few others (Longhorn softy) mostly consisting of rookie cards, jerseys and a smattering of autographs, some gotten in person (Dorsett and Witten are my fav of that variety) and some topps certified autos. I'm a fantasy sports junkie (football/baseball) as well.
OK, time for some predictions!
Dallas Cowboys W/L: 11-5
That brand new (same as last year but better) offense:
This season the Cowboys come out protecting the football with a conservative game plan. This is the beginning of a punishing style of offense that will blow out teams who struggle against the play action. The tendency will be to get after Romo on long downs but this is the year Garrett's screen plays actually start popping and with Felix and Murray following Vickers through the holes we'll be cutting back on the opponent's defense in hilarious fashion. I'm thinking this style will open up the passing game late and provide a lot of success this year.
Offensive MVP: Tony Romo
How much explanation required? A healthy Romo takes the Cowboys to the playoffs this year. How can I put this...Romo is the metaphysical embodiment of the Cowboys' success. If Romo is on the sideline expect bad endings. If Romo is healthy expect success.
Most Improved - Offense: Dez Bryant
This one isn't hard for me either. The player with the highest ceiling is Bryant, all things considered. He can slingshot his way past many other WR's in the league this year with the development of his leadership qualities. He's blooming right before our eyes and we will see Dez set the standard for excellence in the receiving corps.
Biggest Disappointment - Offense: DeMarco Murray
This should be explained. I believe Murray has a good year this year but the production won't be there consistently over 16 games. My reasoning is that with a healthy Felix there, knowing his contract is nearly up, the Cowboys will be inclined to rest Murray and try their best to keep him healthy all season. What does that mean? More reps for Felix Jones, IMO. This question had me leaning toward someone on the OLine but without even knowing who to blame yet, I went with an under producing Murray (he's not overrated on ability, just on impact this year, IMO). I reserve the right to backtrack on this if the line is causing problems, I'm definately worried about it and with that in mind, won't be as disappointed with their floundering play.
Defensive MVP - Defense: Sean Lee
I have a huge crush on Sean Lee and I'm inclined to believe he cements himself as one of the most desirable and most productive LB's in the league. He has already stepped up as a leader and his play on the field speaks for itself. Will he lead the team in INT's this year? No. But that's ok, he will lead in fumbles forced.
Most Improved - Defense: Bruce Carter
Is this cheating? Yeah probably but it's my FanPost. Bruce Carter takes the reins ends up playing more snaps than Dan Connor flashing that closing speed and absolutely terrifying opposing OC's in tandem with Sean Lee we finally see the fabled ILB combo leading to a certain blogger's moniker "Bruce Lee" sticking like glue.
Biggest Disappointment - Defense: Brodney Pool
Here comes the bus...wait for it...waiting...annnnnd..PUSH! There goes Pool as he is thrown squarely under the bus this year, probably leading the way for the rise of film hero, Matt Johnson. Do I think Matt Johnson will have a good year, yes. But all things relative, safety will be the most scary position this year, I can see Eli choosing not to challenge Claiborne or Carr short, opting instead to air that sucker out, testing the safeties early and often.
A few more takes on Cowboys 2012:
Rookies: Claiborne is a monster and his body control in the air will lead to some incredible plays, worthy of space on anyone's DVR. He will be the best rookie this year. I nearly put Tyrone Crawford on the disappointment list but that's not fair to a guy whose expectations are altered because of injury/rehab. I'll give him the time he needs before judging. Unfortunately not all the rookies will make the team and I have a hard time seeing the LB's edge out guys like Albright and Butler.
3rd WR: This is going to be a hotly contested training camp battle as it should be. This position will not be solidified before the season starts and therefore I haven't gotten in too much of a tiff about who it will be. As long as everyone is healthy, the best player will be chosen. Nothing will be given and I'd honestly be surprised if Ogletree isn't the 3rd guy in the opener. The issue is not as pressing as some would argue, someone will take this job from Ogletree, but maybe not till late in the year.
Alrighty folks, thanks for making it all the way to the bottom of the FanPost and I hope to make more as the season unravels.