Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Few Early Offseason Thoughts

It is really hard to watch the playoffs because the Cowboys are missing yet again. But I have definitely realized that the Cowboys had no business being a playoff team this season. The NFC playoff teams were all much more deserving than the Cowboys to be in the tournament. And I think the Cowboys would have lost to every team on the NFC side.

Dave Campo is out as the defensive backs coach. I have mixed emotions on this move. When Campo was the head coach in the early 2000's I attended a training camp practice in Wichita Falls. He actually took about 5 minutes of his time after practice to talk with my friend and me about the team. I'll never forget that. He is a great guy. But, as a coach, it was time for him to go. I know a big part of the problem is the players but the cornerback play has been sub-par for years. There are a lot of teams in the league doing more with less talent at cornerback.

I will be thrilled if Tony Sparano comes back to the Cowboys. He would help shore up the offensive line and, more importantly, he could be a great advisor to Jason Garrett. Garrett's best season as a play caller was in 2007 when Sparano was around helping out with the offense. I hope he is willing to come back to team up with Jason Garrett again.

Rob Ryan should be back as the defensive coordinator. I know that he should shoulder a big part of the blame for the embarrassing performances by the defense to close out the season. But, with a full offseason to teach his scheme, I think we could see big improvements in the defense. I expect a much greater understanding of the defense by all of the players after an offseason to learn the schemes and pre-play adjustments.

The Cowboys need to find another young quarterback to groom. Tony Romo will turn 32 in April. He probably has 2-4 good/great seasons left in him. After that the cupboard is pretty bare for the Cowboys. Stephen McGee has flashed potential a few times but I have no confidence that he will be able to develop into a starting caliber player. I'd like to see the Cowboys bring in another young quarterback to develop. They might even need to bring in another older veteran to serve as the backup in the short term and draft another young quarterback to develop for the future.

There has been a lot of talk that the offensive line needs a complete overhaul. I'm not sure that I agree with that. The Cowboys are set at tackle with Doug Free and Tyron Smith possibly switching sides next season. And Phil Costa and Kevin Kowalski did a pretty good job at center. Where the Cowboys are hurting is at guard. Kyle Kosier is aging and becoming injury prone. His play isn't good enough to cross your fingers and hope he stays healthy. Bill Nagy and David Arkin should battle for one starting spot next year. But I'd like to see guard addressed in either the draft or free agency.

The biggest needs for the Cowboys seem to be on defense. There is a major need for impact players. Outside of Sean Lee and Demarcus Ware there just aren't any players that make game changing plays on a regular basis.

Jerry Jones is promising changes this offseason. I hope he isn't just blowing smoke to quiet the angry fan base. There are gaping holes on the roster that need to be addressed. And there are aging veterans that need to be cut loose.


  1. On Ryan, I don't blame him much at all. His defenses are the same as Rex's and the Jet's have never looked so confused and sad as we did a lot this year. Obviously, we have some pretty stupid defensive players.

    The O-line may not need an overhaul, but it definitely needs upgrading. Switching tackle sides should work but we'll see. The young guys in the middle need a lot of work and seasoning. They often looked overwhelmed last year. KK took a big step back, and while Holland played well, he's older, is coming off an injury, and has had weight issues. Not sure I trust him to come into camp in shape.

    I would love to see Dallas get Nicks from New Orleans. He would be expensive, no question, and while normally I shy away big time from high dollar free agents, Nicks is only 26 and is an All-Pro. The guy should have at least 5 more years in his prime and 2-4 more after that as a quality starter, so signing him to a big long term deal doesn't worry me much. You can spread out his signing bonus enough to off set the damage.

    Agree that the biggest need is on defense. While our secondary IS poor, the best medicine for that is an improved pass rush. I say go after either a JJ Watts type DE or another OLB who can rush the passer (Or both actually), and then try to upgrade the secondary with some later picks.

    Doesn't matter if we have 3 Deion's back there if the QB has 4-5 seconds to sit back there and throw at his leisure.

  2. @Vince Grey I completely agree with your entire post. Demarcus needs some help, we all see the Giants blueprint for success. It was the same in 2007, pressure the QB. They have 4-5 beasts on that line that consistently get at the QB. I honestly think its time to switch the defense and have 4 DL and let them just pin em back and GO. I guess we will see soon enough.

  3. Too bad Sparano but I think Bill Callahan is a good hire. As I remember, the Raiders offense was prolific during his time in Oakland. I agree about the QB situation. As much as I love Tony Romo, the Cowboys ned to start thinking about the future.. if McGee aint it, then get the future into training camp.
    Hoping the Cowboys get an Oline man in FA and the draft as well as a CB. Shoring up those two areas would go a long way to making the Cowboys a playoff team in 2012...

  4. Hey, nice blog again. I was just wondering if you think they will give phil coata another shot, or at least a chance to compete with someone in training camp. He did struggle the 1st 8 games but he got better as the season went on. That's why I would stick with him. Perhaps Center is not his thing, maybe he is a guard. Just a thought. I just know based off of things I herd about him that he works hard and tries his best to get better. I think he deserves a shot to start again. Sorry if this viewpoint seems weird.