The locker rooms at Valley Ranch are barren and empty like the soul of an Orton throwing a playoff sealing interception to end the season, the infamous Jason Garrett signage of "RKG" have been ripped down, the weight room almost has as much dust as Matt Johnson’s cleats and uniform, not a person to be found….
As we have come accustomed to as fans of our beloved Cowboys, we can expect three things during a season, heartbreak, 8-8, and no playoffs, and in no particular order may I add. So now that the off-season is in full affect for us, why not pretend to be GM’s and figure out a plan to stop determining our fate at 8 n 8! A fair and realistic assessment of the team needs to be made in order to move forward, difficult decisions will occur, as is so the business in the NFL. I will not be getting into all the financial aspects of things because firstly it’s been covered many times, and secondly, there will be no issues like always because what we do with toilet paper, Stephan Jones does with "Over-the-Cap Problems".
So let’s begin:
Carter Lee Holloman
Ware Hayden/Bass/Crawford Spencer
Carr Mo Scandrick
Smith Leary Fred Mac Free
Dez TW3 Witten Escobar
OL- The blindside is being protected by a Pro Bowler for the next many years to come, Fred really defied all odds and made this a very strong unit considering where we were at last year, another solid starter for the next 10 with some Pro Bowl Ballets as well hopefully, the two interior guard positions leave a little to be desired, however both young and should be improving moving forward, and then our good ol’ Boy Douggie, takes a pay cut and then has a very solid year, let’s hope the trend continues but we should be grooming a replacement anytime now.
WR/TE- Dez, a superstar talent, and to think how much more he could be if we utilized him better… TWIII will be a capable starter on the outside (Austin Cut), but I fear that he may have over achieved a tad this year and we may be expecting too much growth to quickly, how much he improves may dictate how well this offense will do if he continently beats single coverage. Our slot positions are better than average with Beasley and Harris and Tony seems to have a connection to both. The glaring part to this is that if Dez gets injured than this receiving corps would be decent, maybe bad, maybe terrible, or somewhere in between those blurred lines. The Senator is slowly fading, but like always it was his savvy, smarts, and positioning that got him open, not his athleticism, he’s still fine, will see if Esco can develop into what the brain trust envisioned him to become in his second year.
Backfield- Tony Romo’s back is our biggest concern, but all we can do for now is assume he will be fine, although Valley Ranch reports tend to be the exact opposite of reality these days. DeMarco Murray is a beast, man looked crazy in the final game, if he can stay healthy and this team can commit to the run, I see no problem getting 1600 yds. Lance the Man will be a nice change of pace back to make the offense a little more dynamic, if we use him that is.
DL- Oh the travesty, these poor guys had more injuries than hands, feet could count. DWare takes a slight pay cut and will retire a Cowboy, and contrary to what we saw, I think he comes back with a great year, 10-14 sacks. A determined and provoked man from all the media questioning his game this year will do him in just fine. Not that I’m suggesting I want this, but I just get the feeling Dallas re-signs Spencer to a 3 year deal to keep him, and I actually think he would do just fine in his new role. Along the middle is a bit of a mystery, Hayden, Bass and Crawford, 1’s and 3’s and where they fit who knows but I’m sure Marinelli has a better idea. Compared to last year a much improved line, compared to the NFL I think we can expect a mid of the range from this group, still missing a force in the middle.
LB- Bruce Lee was a movie that was going to be produced but due to lack of funds the film suddenly disappeared and no one knows what the hell went wrong. Sean, just stay healthy. Bruce, let’s hope you were mentally distracted from the expectations and will rebound the way everyone thought you would. At Sam, I think Holloman is too good a player to not be on the field, even possible him and Bruce swap it out.
DB- The strength of the D believe or not. Corners are set, Carr will be fine, Scandrik was probably the second best player last year on D, and I think Mo finally shows up in a big way, started getting more consistent after that rancid start before later being injured. At safety, Church is Church, and Matt Johnson will do what he does every year so why expect different, good news is I think Wilcox is a keeper and he jumps out.
Now that we have just had our final roster meetings with the gang at Valley Ranch, let’s pretend its Draft Day shall we! I’m just going to be doing a couple of picks here because let’s be realistic, you have a better chance of winning the lottery, getting struck by lightning, dying, being reincarnated and repeating steps 1-2 over again than predicting the NFL Draft rounds 1-7.
Round 1- Marqise Lee, WR An absolute burner, would be able to line up outside, in the slot, take a short pass into a long run after the catch. Imagine TW3, Witten, Dez, Lee, and let’s put Dunbar in the backfield just to make it more fun.
Round 2- David Yankey, G/OT or Xavier Su’a-Filo G The interior of the Dallas line can be better, like dominant better. Mac deserves some praise for his efforts this year, but let’s imagine slotting one of these two Gents to the right of Fred. An even better O-Line and did I mention there all in their early twenties? A force for a decade, and who would have thought this was a huge weakness a year ago.
Round 2- Aaron Donald, DT Im trading right back into the 2nd shortly after picking and giving up our 4th, the DL needs more youth and talent, someone Marinelli will like to add into his arsenal of rush men.
Round 3- Jackson Jeffcoat DE More tools to add to the artillery, past connections make this one an easy call, he will be used sparingly allowing him to do what he does best, rush passer!
Unlike many people’s belief towards improving the defense and upgrading it, the truth is that this defense is not good, it won’t be good to great any time soon. The strength of this team is the offense, and the reason this team will ever make the playoffs will be because of Tony Romo & Company, not the defense. There is a very small window of opportunity left open here, surrounding Romo with as much as possible and making this offense dynamic is our best hope. Spending a whole draft on D is risky, there will be busts, DL is largest bust rate, and this is 2-3 year rebuild realistically defensively. Contrary to the hatred of Bill Callahan, we seem to focus on the negative and not the positive, I believe Romo, with his new contract and prowess, express’s his desires to open up and adjust the playbook for the better of the offense, I mean if us fans see this, I’m sure they do. Adding a dynamic receiver with Lee may make this offense potent, imagine the explosion factor with TWIII, Lee, Dez and Dunbar, 4 guys who can blow the top off or break and shake. Let’s not forget about really shoring up the line for now and the future, improving that running game and grinding out a D, we will have the option of scoring in a minute or wearing down an opponent. Not to mention shoring up the O Line means a healthier Romo, a longer lasting Romo. From the defense, another year of learning, this time with healthy players, let's hope some young players can step up, this defense will impress us with little acquisitions this year.... I mean it can't get much worse!
Thats all Folks! Let Em Have it!