After last year’s disappointing 8-8 finish, what can we expect from Dallas in 2012? One thing to look at is what Jerry Jones did to address the failing secondary. The addition of Brandon Carr, the free Agent from Kansas City, and the drafting of Morris Claiborne will certainly upgrade corner from a troubled area to an asset, no doubt. The defense should be an upgrade over last years version as well.
The main area of concern for Jason Garrett will again be the offensive line. Everyone has been talking about 2012 being the year to “put up or shut up”. That’s a little harsh, but knowing Jerry’s history with coaches, it might be true. The move of right tackle Tyron Smith to left tackle is going to be watched all season long, as Smith will now have Romo’s blindside. Smith is a tremendous athlete and he should be able to make the move with relative ease. The move of Smith to left tackle moves Doug Free back to his natural position of right tackle. Both moves should be a plus for both players, and should help keep Romo in the upright position.
The interior line for the Cowboys is suspect. Center Phil Costa can be overpowered, so he will need constant attention from one of the guards. This could be a problem as the year progresses. I was a bit surprised that Jerry did not pick up a veteran to solidify the center position. Lets just hope that Costa matures more this year.
Left guard Nate Livings was the big free agent signing for the Cowboys this past offseason on the line. Livings was with Cincinnati Bengals and is an average at best player. Right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau starts the season on the PUP. Bernadeau started just one game last year with the Panthers so I wonder if this signing will work out for the Cowboys. Time will tell.
I am not sure what to read into Felix Jones not passing his conditioning test. I was a bit surprised, but probably not as surprised as Jason Garrett. I hope that it was Felix not giving it his all, but we saw last year what happened when Miles Austin reported to camp out of shape as he as he was injury-prome all season. Will Felix suffer the same fate, or will he buckle down and get into shape? I am sure that DeMarco Murray is in shape and he should pick up where he left off, so hopefully he will have complete year and bust the 1,000 yard mark. I am counting on it.
All I can say is I have the utmost confidence in the Cowboys coaching staff. I believe that the biggest weakness this year is the interior line and that if the Cowboys fix it, we could see a serious playoff run. If not…..well the natives will be getting restless……AGAIN.
If anyone has any concerns or thoughts lets hear your thoughts about the upcoming 2012 season.
Lets hope for the Best.