Dallas Primed for Success in 2013

Looking at the Dallas Cowboy's roster, I believe this may be the team's best chance since 2007 at a Super Bowl run. Yes, a Super Bowl run.

Why? Because we still have the best of our veterans on the roster and they are still young enough that their performance should remain at or near its peak, while the new best guys have enough experience to push us to the top. 2013 is Dallas's prime opportunity. 2014 may not look as good. Let's break it down.


QB - Tony Romo. Romo is still in his prime. With a better running game and an overall better team, he's likely to turn the ball over less in 2013. With more offensive targets in the pass game, he's likely to push north of 30 TD passes again. Look for him to challenge his best year -- 2011, when he had 31 TDs, 10 INTs, QBR at 71.4 and Rating at 102.5.

WRs - This unit is in it's prime. Dez Bryant's second half of 2012 was eye-popping. We now get a full year of that. Miles Austin is still on the team and easily capable of a 1000 yard campaign. There's no Kevin Ogletree. Instead, we have Harris and Williams as 3rd WRs, with plenty of decent guys behind them. Hard to see this unit getting better than it could be in 2013.

TEs - Jason Witten is still Jason Witten. His YPA went down last year, but that seemed more due to relying on him as the replacement for the absent running game. Where this unit will improve is having a 2nd year James Hanna, and a rookie Escobar instead of Phillips. Going forward, the improvement of the young guys should counterbalance any Witten decline, but this is still a prime year for TEs.

RBs - Murray is unlikely to be hurt as much as he was his first two years, and now we have better depth with Randle, who didn't miss any college games. Plus, I think our 3rd guy will offer more than Tanner or Dunbar did last year. If Murray's healthy, he's certainly in his prime.

OL - This unit is NOT in its prime, but can't help but be better than last year. Smith is in year 2 at LT, with his family issues better under control. This might be his first Pro Bowl campaign. Having Frederick to stabilize the center is huge. It's very possible that one of the developmental guys will push out Livings or Bernardeau. Parnell will push Free to be better, or replace him, providing an upgrade either way. This unit remains the biggest question mark for the team.


DL - This unit is absolutely in its prime. Spencer will never be better. Demarcus Ware is at the stage where health will always be a factor. It's fair to say he's passed his peak, but is still great. Ratliff and Hatcher are both north of 30, so it's possible neither will even be with Dallas next year. Behind them we have guys who are NOT rookies. Crawford's in his second year. Lissemore is back healthy. Wilber is in his second season. Hargrove is a veteran. In 2014, this unit may be the most changed part of the team, but for now, it's in its prime.

LB - This unit is also outstanding, and coming into its prime. Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are 4th and 3rd year guys who will excel in Kiffin's scheme. Durant is a solid tackler at the SAM spot. We don't have all-stars behind these guys, but we have solid depth. This is one unit that could be better in 2014 as it gets immersed in Kiffin's plays, but I don't expect a huge learning curve here.

CB - We have the experienced vet in Carr, who's still young, and the second year top pick in Claiborne. With Scandrick back, and BW Webb and Moore for depth, this is another unit in it's prime. It might be better in 2014, but if Scandrick is a cap casualty, it also might lose some of its depth.

Safety - Along with O-line, this is the other unit not in its prime yet. Church, Johnson, Allen, Wilcox, et al will likely be able to get the job done in 2013, but with three young guys, it has to improve with more seasoning.

Special teams

Returns - We have enough WR depth to use Harris as punt returner, where he's outstanding and in his prime. Plus, we won't be experimenting with Dez back there in 2013. Kickoff returns have room to improve. With a new coordinator, and lots of new coverage guys, we'll have to wait and see how the coverage units do.

K - We have Bailey still. Very reliable from 50 in. Definitely in his prime.

P - Probably could do better here, but good enough.

LS - Lads is as reliable as they come.


Head - Not clear if Jason Garrett is in his prime yet. With the talent we have on this roster, we'll find out in 2013.

Offense - Ditto for Garrett.

Defense - Kiffin's in his 70s, with Marinelli to help him. These guys aren't going to get any better.

There's a ton of competition in the NFC, with very few teams likely to be patsies. So making the playoffs and going from there is by no means a certainty. But if Dallas is going to break the long dry spell of success in the playoffs, this is the year to do it.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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