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Ferguson and Rivera need to step up their game

Control the line of scrimmage and you can control a football game. Dallas had problems on both sides of the ball last year and it cost them. Two players that were supposed to make a difference had sub-par years.

Jason Ferguson and Marco Rivera got paid last year, raking in huge bonuses to come to Dallas. Neither had the kind of season that was expected of them. If Dallas is to take the next step to championship contender this year, both need to improve their games.

BTB regular Terry noted in the comments section, when talking about the 3-4 defense, that the Cowboys need Jason Ferguson to become dominant. He's right, for the 3-4 defense to work properly the NT has to occupy space and demand double-teams. Jason Ferguson also knows it, and realizes he wasn't up to snuff last season. Part of the reason was the ankle injury he suffered in training camp which caused him to slide behind La'Roi Glover in the rotation. This year, with no Glover around, Ferguson knows he's the man.

"I didn't play like I wanted to play last year," Ferguson said. "I want to be more dominant. That's the main part of my game, to be more dominant in the middle. I had some games I lapsed in and some games I played well. I need to be more consistent."

On the other side of the ball Marco Rivera was supposed to solidify a troublesome RG position. He also played inconsistently after suffering a back injury before training camp. This year, he feels ready to go.

That's how Rivera attacked the off-season. He took a month off to heal but has been a regular at Valley Ranch even when he didn't need to be. He believes the off-season conditioning program has restored the strength in his legs, which were neglected while he rehabilitated his back.

"I feel like my old self," Rivera said. "Last year was basically a freak thing that happened, and I got behind the eight ball and never regained my power. I recommitted myself and hopefully, I'll be a lot better player."

Time to start earning those fat paychecks, fellas.

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