As the days and months have passed since the season ending loss to Philadelphia there has a been a slow, but steady stream of changes within the roster and coaching staff of the Dallas Cowboys. It is funny to hear people make predictions about the upcoming season based on the last two year's results. The 2009 Dallas Cowboys are a very different team than the 2007 and 2008 editions. I'm not even close to feeling like I know what the future holds for the Cowboys. What I do know is that I can't expect more of the same from my beloved team.
Here is a list of some of the players who are no longer on the roster for one reason or another: Terrell Owens, Anthony Henry, Roy Williams, Terry "Tank" Johnson, Adam "Pacman" Jones, Tra Battle, Chris Canty, Kevin Burnett, Keith Davis, Brooks Bollinger, Brad Johnson, Tony Curtis, and in the near future, Greg Ellis. I'm sure I forgot a few, but that is a big list and some of those names were key contributors to the team over the last few years. Don't be fooled, this is a different team than we have watched over the last few years.
12 players were drafted and several were added via free agency. There have been so many players added to the roster it is easy to forget some of them. The defense looks like it will have 5 new starters this season: Keith Brooking at weak inside linebacker, Igor Olshansky at defensive end, Mike Jenkins or Orlando Scandrick at cornerback, Gerald Sensabaugh or one of the rookies at safety, and Anthony Spencer at outside linebacker. That is a huge amount of change from last season.
The offense is actually pretty stable with one huge exception. Roy Williams will now be the lead guy at receiver and Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, or Sam Hurd will start at receiver. Other than that the only remaining possible change could be left guard. Kyle Kosier is probably going to have to fight off Montrae Holland during training camp to retain his starting job. So there are many changes but the one major change was a franchise defining move. Roy Williams has some very big shoes to fill.
My point here is that you need to point out to anyone that will listen that it is unfair to predict what this team will do based on the teams from the last few years. This is a much different team and I don't think anyone can say with any certainty what we can expect the Cowboys to do. I tend to lean towards the optimistic side but I don't have much to go on but blind faith right now. It is going to be very interesting to see how the team comes together over the next few months. There is still a lot of talent on the roster but the coaches are going to have their hands full getting everyone on the same page before the season gets underway in September.