I have a habit of listening to ESPN Radio on the way to pretty much anywhere I go. I have been also watching the NFL Network, reading articles, and simply talking with fans. The question I have heard answered, answered myself, and heard others answer was, “Are the Cowboys heading up or down?” Most of the experts on the radio and television have said the Cowboys are heading down. Their reasoning is they don’t like the upgrades the Cowboys have done and the ones they have not done. So are the Cowboys really heading down?
The question isn’t really that simple to answer honestly. While I personally am not thrilled about the state of the safeties and linebackers without Sean Lee, I am pleased with the offense and the potential it has. The Cowboys have formed one of the best offensive lines in football, have a great WR corps starting with Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, have a top 10 QB in Tony Romo, and if they can stick to the running game they have what could be a scary backfield. This team can put up points with the best in the league. So when the question is asked I would say they are heading up on the offensive side of the ball.
On defense, there is more question marks than answers. While they added Henry Melton, who if he recovers from his injury, can wreck a little havoc along the defensive line. They drafted Demarcus Lawrence, Ben Gardner, and Ken Bishop in hopes that they can add to what will be a rotating player defensive front. George Selvie is coming off his best year and Tyrone Crawford, Ben Bass, Jeremy Mincey, Nick Hayden, Terrell McClain, and maybe Anthony Spencer all figure to be part of what has the potential to be an okay if not good defensive line. The real questions come from behind them.
At the linebacker position the Cowboys are already missing Sean Lee. While this will hurt, many are hoping that Bruce Carter can make the next step and be a very good NFL LB. If that happens and the Cowboys corps with Anthony Hitchens, Will Smith, Justin Durant, Kyle Wilber, and Rolando McClain has potential, but we are waiting to see if that potential is just potential or if they can actually play. Again, this is a question mark and an injury to one or two of them may make the LB corps weaker than it has been in the last few years.
The corners and safeties have been a talk for a while now. Morris Claiborne has to play like a top 10 guy or he will have been a wasted pick by the Cowboys. While Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick are not a bad one and two, without a pass rush in front of them they will be slowly picked apart if a QB has the time to be patient and throw the ball around. The safety play has been less than stellar for quite a while. Barry Church has one position locked down with the other up for grabs between Matt Johnson, J.J. Wilcox, Ahmad Dixon, Keith Smith, Ryan Smith, and Jeff Heath. None of the veterans have played all that well although Wilcox has flashed some ability. It is unsure what the Cowboys have in Johnson and the three rookies, and Jeff Heath while he was a rookie last year, was often out of position and at times had bad lapses in tackling.
So the question was, “Are the Dallas Cowboys going up or down?” With training camp starting the answers will come quickly. I believe the Cowboys are heading up, although something has to give at some point with the 8-8 records. If they can gel, and some players take that next step then they could be looking at a better season than many of the so called experts think. If it is more of the same then they could be in for another disappointing year.
So which way do you all think the Cowboys are heading? Comment below and let’s see what everyone thinks.
Tags: Dallas Cowboys