The Dallas Cowboys are now three quarters through the 2013 NFL season. With twelve games completed and the Cowboys standing with a 7-5 record, it’s time to review player performance and analyze who to buy and who to sell.
After tracking recent trends on the Dallas Cowboy’s Stock Exchange (DCSE), these stocks have stood out the first 3/4 of the season:
The Bulls (Hot Stocks Rising in Value)
Tony Romo: Romo is quietly building a fantastic statistical season. He’s on pace for over 4,180 yards passing, while completing 64.8% of his passes. He’s pacing 36 TDs with 10 INTs which happens to be his best TD/INT ratio yet and one of the best ratios in the entire league.
Despite the modest 7-5 record, Tony is making plays when needed and almost singlehandedly allowing the Cowboys to compete in every game. The big question at hand is, can Tony continue his brilliance in the month of December? The Cowboys face the Bears and the Packers in the next two weeks. Next week is Monday night in Chicago while the following week Green Bay expects Aaron Rodgers to return. Both teams should be able to easily move the ball on the NFL’s worst defense. Romo will be asked to score a lot of points to keep the Cowboys in these games.
Jason Hatcher: Hatcher is having the best season of his career. With 34 tackles and 9 sacks he’s on pace to finish the season 45/12. This is particularly impressive considering he missed an entire game and still statistically ranks as arguably the best DT in the NFL.
He’s going to force the Cowboys to make some very tough decisions this offseason as they look to get under the cap AND retain their top lineman. More on Hatchers future with the team later.
The Bears (Cold Stocks Falling in Value)
Brandon Carr/Morris Claiborne: The secondary has been atrocious. Mo has spent more time injured than healthy and Carr has been anything but consistent.
Mo is still lacking confidence and performing poorly as a result. He’s ranking in the bottom half of the league (the bottom half of the bottom half, at that) and has done little to justify his lofty draft status.
Brandon Carr is paid and treated as if he’s a star cornerback in the NFL. He’s not. He also has been a huge disappointment and a colossal waste of money. He’s a good teammate and will make plays from time to time, but he’s expected to be a top 10 CB (and he’s paid like one too) and he’s anything but.
Other stocks to avoid: Bruce Carter and Miles Austin
Stock to Hold
Demarcus Ware: The former Blue Chip stock has taken a significant dive in value the past two seasons. The string of injuries has caused investors to worry that age has finally caught up with him.
Ware still possesses amazing skill rushing the passer and is still a highly valuable stock. He’s not the iron-man he once was but he’s certainly still a star.
Hottest IPO (Initial Public Offering aka: Rookie/First Year Stock)
Travis Frederick: Frederick has made a big difference in the Dallas O-line this season. He is calling blocking assignments and leading the transition to the new Zone Blocking Scheme. Frederick is making players around him better which is good news to a team that has been recently hampered by underachieving offensive lines.
Since Brian Waters was lost for the season, Frederick has stepped up as a leader and helped the O-line survive the significant and underrated loss.
Some may argue for Terrance Williams being the hottest IPO. They see Williams make the flashy plays while Frederick just fights in the trenches. At the end of the day, Williams is a luxury and Frederick is a necessity. Williams has a bright future but Frederick is already a cornerstone of this team.
Kyle Wilber: I have long been a critic of Kyle Wilber and his performance as a DE in this new 4-3 scheme. For much of the year he was overmatched, out muscled, and completely disengaged. But since the string of injuries to the LB corps, he was moved to the SAM LB spot. He has thrived in his new role. Wilber went from someone who didn’t even belong on a practice squad, to a top-quality starter – seemingly overnight. If Wilber doesn’t win the starting role at the SAM permanently, I would be shocked.
Blue Chip Stocks
The Blue Chip stocks are stocks who are at the absolute top of their field in performance and earnings. These are stocks you can invest in, depend on, and retire with. They are the reliable moneymakers that can solidify an investor portfolio. Ware has failed to regain his status and Dez still needs to take that final step.
Jason Witten is the only true Blue Chipper. Witten lost Blue Chip status in the offseason when investors speculated he lost his edge and playmaking ability. This 2013 season, Witten has proved his doubters wrong. He’s not suddenly game-breaking or dynamic, but his versatility in pass-blocking and route running has been fantastic. He has proven he is Romo’s safety blanket in more ways than one. In addition, this is his best season as a run-blocker in years. His value as blocker is particularly important in Callahan’s zone blocking scheme.