With OTA's set to begin here soon the newly acquired rookies get their first crack at mixing it up with the vets.
There will be exciting battles and competitions to watch for throughput OTA's and camp in general. I can appreciate the buzz at this time of the year surrounding the team that involves competition. It was just a year ago we all kept hearing about windows.
As Miles Austin once said "To be honest, I don't deal with windows,"
For all the talk about windows closing on the current nucleus, a newer one is brewing in Valley Ranch.
The term Nucleus is defined as such;
Something regarded as a basis for future development and growth.
We all know the current core group Ware, Romo, Witten, Ratliff, Spencer, Austin, Hatcher. Each seasoned vets having been with the team for at least 7 seasons.
While all have been or currently are pro bowlers, the problem has been the mess in between the core group and the creation of the new core.
It's no secret the drafts between 2006-2009 haven't been stellar. And have directly contributed to underachieving over the years. But since 2010 and the time Garrett has taken over as the head coach, a shift has occurred and is occurring.
The N(ew)cleus: Since 2010 the organization in my opinion has been acquiring the new nucleus to the team
- Dez Bryant 2010 1st round pick
- Sean Lee 2010 2nd round pick
- Tyron Smith 2011 1st round pick
- Bruce Carter 2011 2nd round pick
- Demarco Murray 2011 3rd round pick
- Morris Claiborne 2012 1st round pick
- Brandon Carr 2012 Free Agent
- Travis Frederick 2013 1st round pick
In Tyron and Frederick we've acquired a base for the foundation of the line. It's a start for a unit that has and is still being turned over to find its complete core.
Maybe the most anticipated tandem in the new nucleus happens to be Sean Lee and Bruce Carter aka Bruce Lee. With the switch to the 4-3, Lee and Carter become an ideal and important fit.
Former D coordinator of the Bears and now D Line coach of the Cowboys, Rod Marenelli saw how vital 2 studs at the LB position can be. If Bruce Lee can resemble anything close to Urlacher and Briggs in the same scheme it will do wonders and make everyone around them better.
Carr and Claiborne present maybe our most talented tandem at CB in a long time. Carr is coming off a solid year in which he showed his versatility by playing a little safety. He also came up big in big spots making game changing INTs in the latter part of the season.
Claiborne as a rookie performed well as a starter in a position that in this day and age may be the 2nd most difficult position to adjust from college to the pros. With his off season not being shortened by injury Claiborne should see a jump in his second year, with the potential and talent to be a top notch CB.
On offense baring injury, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray are the rocks of the now and future. Keywords baring injury. Dez has had his issues but hasn't missed a lot of time outside his rookie year.
Murray on the other hand has missed significant time but has shown when healthy he's a big time factor. With Dez improving on and off the field each year its scary to think what he could become. The same can be said for Murray if he can stay on the field. But the team has taken precautionary measures if that isn't the case.
Waiting in the wings? There are a handful of guys, including some in this year's draft class, that look to thrust themselves into the core group:
The hope is that a few make the jump, but the reality is most will be role players. Which isn't a bad thing at all. The poor drafts in between the core groups failed to develop depth and adequate role players from within. That depth was tested over the last few years.
A basis for future development and growth. If the trend from within continues, there may be support for the N(ew)cleus.