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ESPN on the 2006 Cowboys

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ESPN Insider has scouting reports on all six divisions. In the NFC East review (sub. req.), the Dallas blurb is nicely done. First task for the Boys this year: protect Drew Bledsoe. Last year's numbers don't lie; 49 sacks and 17 interceptions. Besides bringing in some new linemen and counting on Flozell's return, we're also going to use the 2-TE formation more this year. This new formation with Owens and Fasano on board could also be a key in saving Bledsoe's butt.

A year ago, TE Jason Witten, who is a terrific pass catcher, had to spend all of his time pass blocking and the Cowboys rarely attacked the middle of the field in the passing game. Now, they have Witten and rookie TE Anthony Fasano to give Bledsoe safer throws from three- and five-step drops. They also have Owens.

While Owens can still get deep, he is fearless over the middle and great after the catch. He will take a lot of pressure away from deep threat Terry Glenn. The one-back set will also allow RB Julius Jones to use his good instincts and vision to hit the creases in the defense and not be forced to always follow a lead blocker. Look for Bledsoe to get the ball out quicker and cut down on his sacks in a dramatically improved offense in 2006.

The article also covers our young but imposing defense and the acquisition of Mike Vanderjagt. Overall, a good surface review of the team coming into the 2006 season.

ESPN also has new Power Rankings up, and they like the Cowboys.

7. Cowboys 9-7-0 Dallas' offseason was all about T.O. If Owens is the player he was in his first season in Philly (77 receptions for 1,200 yards and 14 TDs), Dallas could be very good.