Sunday, March 6, 2011

The upcoming season for the Cowboys and one more final lookback

Well it's on to 2011 for the Dallas Cowboys. There is absolutely no question that they can beat any team in the league. Judging by the pattern of the last several years, I'd say that 2011 is a year to look forward to and 2012 might not be(LOL) The odd years have been better than the even years of the past eight years. But enough of that. The Cowboys had a disappointing campaign in 2010. VERY DISAPPOINTING. What many people don't realize is that they didn't have a good training camp. They were traveling around and not in their normal place at any time long enough to get in any kind of sync. There were injuries on both sides of the ball even at the start of the season. Then the season starts and it's penalties galore. And yes, there were some very horrible calls that went against them early on as well. Penalties, turnovers(the team was minus 9 in turnovers in the first half of the year, which produced a 1-7 start and the firing of Wade Phillips. By that point the team had quit on him and Romo was done for the year. And there were plenty of other injuries on both sides of the ball the whole year. But in the second half of the year after Garrett took over, the defense still surrendered points and yards in bunches but they forced turnovers while the offense quit giving it away and scaled way back on the penalties. A 5-3 second half that was only seven TOTAL points from being 8-0. Absolutely should have been at least a 7-1 second half. But it won Jason Garrett the official Head Coaching gig and the removal of the interim tag. This team has to get more depth on the offensive line(so that the running game can return to form) And the defense was a big disappointment with only DeMarcus Ware performing at his normal level. The secondary had been lights out in 09 but was lit up like highway flares in 2010. Again, injuries, the lack of depth there along with underachieving Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer on the D-Line contributed to the defense giving up a dreadful 436 points (compared to 250 in 09). The offense, thanks mainly to their second half surge(avg 30 pts a game) actually scored more points in 2010(394) than in 2009(361). The 2009 offense had mainly been about being explosive but more of a control the game type. In 2011, they can be both more explosive and control the game. But again, they need to avoid turnovers and keep the penalties down like they did in the second half of 2010. If the defense improves at all, this team could easily jump back to the 12 win area and contending for a the top seed in the conference. Offensive line improvement to get the running game back up to it's capabilities along with an improvement in the secondary, which will in turn restore the pass rush. This team was not ahead half as much either in 2010 as they were in 2009, so the defense wasn't nearly as effective playing without a lead as they were with one. One final stat: Aside from the two lopsided losses at midseason that basically said that the team had quit on Wade Phlllips(35-17 to Jacksonville AT HOME. and the 45-7 no show against Green Bay) the other 8 losses were by a TOTAL of 36 pts(avg margin 4.5 pts a game)