A Look At The Cowboys Offense Heading To Training Camp


Last season the Dallas Cowboys surprised many when they finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and the NFC East Championship. That surprising season came to an end during the divisional round of the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers when a fourth down reception inside the five yard line by wide receiver Dez Bryant was overturned. #ItWasACatch

Even though the season may have ended in disappointment there were still many upsides. This was a Cowboys team that many “experts” picked to finish at the bottom of the NFC East and ended up with their first playoff win since the 2009 season.

It was also a Cowboys team that produced the leading rusher in the NFL during his contract year. DeMarco Murray ran away from the competition with 392 carries for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also ran straight out of Dallas to the Philadelphia Eagles when the free agency period began.

Last season the offensive line was praised a lot for the success of Murray. This upcoming season everybody will find out exactly how good the Cowboys revamped offensive line is since the biggest question heading into camp is, who will replace DeMarco Murray as the starting running back?

Honestly there is nobody on the Cowboys roster that has what it takes to do what Murray did last season. Even though the offensive line is stout and can open holes Murray still had to make his share of plays after he got past the line.

When Murray decided his days with the Cowboys were over the first thing management did was sign injury prone free agent Darren McFadden to a two-year deal. As long as McFadden can stay healthy he will be a solid addition to this team.

The 2014 season was the first year for McFadden to stay healthy all 16 games since being selected by the Raiders in the first round of the 2008 draft. Maybe being closer to home in Dallas is what McFadden needs to jumpstart his career.

Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) runs the ball against the Detroit Lions during 1st quarter of a game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys still have Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle if McFadden does not pan out. Both Randle and Dunbar have proven to be effective weapons at times but also have questions surrounding them.

Randle’s biggest issues are off the field. As long as he can stay out of trouble he has what it takes to be a premier back in the league. Thing is once Randle gets cleared of one issue something else pops up.

Dunbar on the other hand does not have any issues off the field but when he was given a chance as the lead back he got injured. Last season was the first season Dunbar was available for all 16 games for the first time in three seasons and only produced 29 carries for 99 yards.

Dunbar will have to do better than that to keep a job this season. The Cowboys also have Ryan Williams at the very end of the bench. Williams is also a player that is trying to revamp his injury filled career. He should finally be 100 percent and fresh considering he spent last season on the Cowboys practice squad.

Either way it goes the Cowboys should have plenty of options to keep the production churning out of their running game. The only other question with the Cowboys offense heading into training camp is, who will step up at wide receiver to take some of the pressure off Dez Bryant?

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One of the biggest problems the Cowboys have had over the years is not having a solid second guy that Romo can depend on when Dez Bryant is being double and triple teamed. Yeah, he has Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams but even those guys are streaky.

Devin Street is a guy that has the size, speed, and abilities it takes to be a solid receiver in this league if the Cowboys play callers would give him a chance. Street only made two receptions during his rookie season for 18 yards while only being targeted seven times. Let this guy play if nothing else is working.

The Cowboys also have rookie free agent Antwan Goodley heading to camp. Goodley spent his college days playing for Art Briles at Baylor in a spread offense where he made 150 receptions for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns. If anything the Cowboys should be able to use Goodley on special teams to help fill the hole that Dwayne Harris left.

Either way it goes one of these young guys needs to step up. Romo still has tight end Jason Witten as a dependable target but let’s be honest, Witten is no spring chicken. Even though Witten can still make the tough receptions, he does not have to speed it takes to make that huge game changing play anymore.

Other than these couple of questions needing answers the Cowboys offense should be ready to go. It’s not like they had a complete turnover in players or coaching staff during the off-season. Quarterback Tony Romo is even healthy heading to camp for the first time in years. If anything this offense should be better than it was last season.

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