Because of the need for a drastic change in the Dallas Cowboys organization, a couple of weeks ago, I published an article titled 10 questions for Dallas Cowboys fans. Due to the length of some of the answers, I am posting responses to one question at a time. I believe the fans have a right to be heard when it comes to their team, so here are their answers to the first pressing question about the Dallas Cowboys’ future: (If I missed anyone I apologize)
Question #1: What do you feel is the biggest position of need for the Dallas Cowboys in the 2013 draft?
I am not only a writer, I am also a fan, so I am going to answer these questions as well. I fall among the majority of analysts when I say the Dallas Cowboys have to address the offensive line. Especially when I take in to consideration that Tony Romo was knocked to the turf an average of 6.75 times a game in spite of his magician like mobility.
The teams that dominate in the NFL understand the importance of protecting their quarterback and maintaining a solid running game. The Dallas Cowboys were 26th in red zone scoring and 31st running the ball. Most fans view the New England Patriots as a ‘pass-first’ offense, however, they can run the ball when they need to. They were #1 in the NFL in rushing touchdowns for the 2012 season and once again they are in the AFC championship. The Patriots have strung together more than 10 consecutive winning seasons. Even when their defense was ranked at the bottom of the league, they were able to go deep in to the playoffs because most teams can’t out score their high power offense.
The one constant you will always find on a Bill Belichick led team is a solid offensive line. The same could be said about a Jimmy Johnson led team. This is what separates the dominant teams from the rest of the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t care how many passing yards a team puts up, if you can’t pound the ball in to the endzone and/or control the clock with a solid running game, you will remain a .500 team. The offensive line determines whether or not you can do either. Turnovers lose games. When all of the pressure is on your QB and he constantly needs to force throws while running for his life, you’re asking for turnovers.
Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys Analyst/Scout:
There are several different ways the Dallas Cowboys could go in this draft with the offensive or defensive line but in this new scheme on defense, they had better find a way to grab either tackles or ends. I have a feeling that they will address the tackle spot first because of how important that three technique is in the scheme getting up the field. There is thought that Jason Hatcher can be that guy but this upcoming draft class doesn’t have a Warren Sapp but they have some players that can fill that role. If they don’t go on the defensive side of the ball, watch the guards in this draft, like those defensive linemen, there are a couple that could make a difference.
Rodney Bryant from Fayetteville, NC:
Loved the questions and loved answering them. Offensive Line -if Romo has no time to throw then we have more INTs.
Johannes Ellertsson Keflavik, Iceland:
Hi CowGirlCas I´m a Cowboys fan from Iceland, really good questions about our Cowboys, what is wrong and what should we try to do to fix it Like probably most fans, the offensive line is at the top of my list. I would think a pro ready guard is the most realistic option at no.18, we absolutely need a starter in the first round.
A big, run stuffing nose tackle. They don’t need to draft anyone this yr that weighs under 300 lbs. (They need more bullies)
Tom Salagaj, Chicago (fan since 1960):
Offensive Line for sure…and a much better left tackle to help protect Tony Romo. Pride and Arrogance is ruling this franchise. Has been ever since Jimmy Johnson departed. We had somewhat of a chance when Bill Parcells came on board but once again, Jerry Jones took the team and decision making away from him. So here we are, a has been franchise with a true star QB with little or no football minds to help him.”Please stay tuned for scenes from my next episode!”
Daniel, Toronto, Canada:
COWBOY FAN SINCE 1990 AND WILL NEVER ABANDON THIS TEAM. Defensive line depth.
Bryan Grossmann, East Brunswick, NJ:
They need to focus on fixing both lines. You have to build successful teams from the inside out. They have very good perimeter players on both sides of the ball but that doesn’t matter if you can’t consistently win in the trenches. Both lines are well below average. If you can control the line of scrimmage you can control the ballgame.
Chris Trevino from Houston,TX:
I believe it has to be the D-Line. Pick a spot. With an aging Ratliff, Ware and Spears (heck even Hatcher), the Cowboys D-Line needs to get young fast to keep pace with the new LB’s and DB’s on the squad. Ratliff would be the 1st one to look at backing up or replacing considering this previous injury prone season. Also his decision for season ending surgery days after the infamous confrontation with Jerry Jones might make that decision a little bit easier. Ware will be entering his 9th season and it appears injuries were also common for him this past season and might be a preview for things to come.
OL (C, RG) and DL (both positions)
Defensive Line, specifically NT(early rounds)Interior OL, S (Mid Rounds) RB, CB (Late Rounds). I really respect and admire the work you guys do. I couldn’t think of a more fun career then writing about the team I’ve loved since I was a little boy. Thanks & Best of Luck.
Offensive line. Too often Tony Romo was pressured up the middle and had no time. It isn’t a coincidence he has broken a bone the last three seasons.
Steve, Toronto, Canada:
I really enjoy your work and your passion. I don’t always agree with you, particularly on Jason Garrett. I agree he needs to go as OC, but I believe he is making significant progress in making the Cowboys a better football team. The biggest position of need in this draft is Nose Tackle. It’s time to move on from Ratliff and with Brent out of the picture the position is a disaster. The Cowboys are fortunate that this is a deep draft on the OL and DL. It all depends on value but I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting a possible LT (ie Eric Fisher) in Round 1 and move Tyron Smith back to RT.
Great article Cas, and a good selection of questions. Here is my uneducated two penneth worth. D line and O line both need help badly but if singling out a position then nose tackle.
Great post Cassie. Your doing great. You had great questions Cas. As usual and my beef is Jerry Jones. He has the ability to obtain some of the best GM’s in the business but his shear arrogance prevents him from doing so. In the pat 17 years the Cowboys have had 5 double digit win seasons. That stat is pathetic. As of the Dallas Cowboys since the very beginning I am embarrassed. On Tony Romo, he has done what he could with what he had had. Yes he had more Ints. However when you throw 50 times a game you are going to get picked. Their is not a doubt if an elite running game can be established Romo will be a much better QB. The future of the Cowboys is in the hands of its owner, it’s president and general manager. He is the man who hires the coaches finds the players and drafts the players. Garrett just does what he is told.
Defensive Line, better college O-Line scouts.