The title of this article was going to be: “Dallas Cowboys Two Years Away From Super Bowl Contention” But I preferred to go with the Tony Romo and John Elway comparison, because Romo’s durability will be the key for something like that to happen.
So, I don’t know you guys, but I’m really excited about that offensive line! First round picks in three different positions along the line with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zach Martin, all but guarantees one of the best units in the league for years to come; and that can only mean that the already outstanding players in the skill positions like Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo, will only get better.
I know, we still have that terrible defense of last year minus Demarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lee and now, for the first month of the season, 2nd round selection Demarcus Lawrence. But in this pass-happy era of the NFL, who cares about the defense? I know that the best D in the league just destroyed Peyton Manning and Co. at the latest Super Bowl, but wouldn’t you be happy if your Cowboys were similarly manhandled in the next Super Bowl?
All I’m saying is that even when I acknowledge the importance of a good defense, these days having a great offense can make up for a disastrous defense. There are plenty of examples, starting with Peyton’s Broncos, Drew Brees’ Saints, Brady’s Patriots in both Super Bowls against the Giants, etc. Maybe defenses still win championships, but with a bit of luck, a great offense can pull it off.
And for now, a fun ride to the playoffs would be enough for me.
What brings me to the Cowboys much-maligned defense. A lot of pieces are missing from this defense to be considered even average. But the rebuilding process is underway and if you give it a year or two to be completed, it could result in a great offense being matched with a very good defense.
Let’s analyze the best-case scenario, because that’s what Romo will need if he ever gets the chance to take this team to the Super Bowl.
Imagine that Demarcus Lawrence gets back healthy in early October, transitions quickly to the NFL game and becomes everything the coaches expected him to be when they selected him in the second round and, in the process, gave away their 3rd round pick too.
Then let’s just be positive here and think that Henry Melton can recover his old form and be a dominant player again in this league. Let’s say that Barry Church continues his evolution as a reliable safety and that next year Sean Lee finds a way to stay healthy somehow.
Finally, let’s just imagine that just one of the two most disappointing cornerbacks in the league, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, find their mojo again and that Orlando Scandrick keeps playing like a stud.
Suddenly you have a great DE, an outstanding LB, and very good players at S, CB and DL. And we haven’t even talked about the chance of Bruce Carter going back to his 2012 form, or said anything about Tyrone Crawford, George Selvie or Kyle Wilber becoming what the team expects from them. Or even the intriguing possibility of getting back a talent like Josh Brent.
Then in the 2015 draft, as you have a great offense you can focus on the defense and select defensive players from pick 1 to 7. Judging by Jason Garret’s draft history that will result in at least two more good starters, say another defensive end and maybe the best safety in the draft?, or maybe another good LB or CB?
Give them a year to develop and one more defensive draft to round it up, and then you’ll have the defense we are missing right now. By then Tony Romo will be 36 or 37. Guess how old was Elway when he won his last Super Bowl? 38.