Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The Cowboys Off-Season Plans Must Change
When one looks at the current roster of the Dallas Cowboys and sees all of the talent that has yet to achieve the goal of winning a championship, there may be a calling for overhaul. Though it may seem this is a good idea, I cannot see this as being their best path to getting back to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys can achieve winning with minor tweaking of an already stout roster. Here are a few things the Cowboys can do to get back on top :
1. Sign Ray Lewis - Lewis may be nearing his end, and came off his least productive season in years, but his impact lies far more than statistics. Though I wouldn't sign him to more than a two year deal, he will provide the leadership the team is so desperately in need of. Lewis wants to get another ring before he retires, and this is more probable a happening with Dallas than Baltimore. Plus, the Ravens have all three of their linebackers up for contract. Someone will have to go most likely, and Lewis seems to be the one many think is the one. Though Zach Thomas was not horrible last year, Lewis would represent an upgrade.
2. Draft In The Trenches - The Cowboys should use their few draft picks wisely. As it stands right now, they do not pick until 50 other players have gone off the board. Jerry Jones has wheeled and dealed on draft day, so a guy like Bobby Carpenter might garner a draft pick. If Dallas somehow stands pat on their current situation, they should get a Safety first. Guys like Louis Delmas of Western Michigan, Rashad Johnson of Alabama, William Moore of Missouri, and Patrick Chung of Oregon may be available. After they fill this much needed area, Dallas needs to go after line help on both sides of the ball exclusively. Getting a back up for Tony Romo can be had on the free agency market, and Romo's health will be dictated by the efficiency of his blockers. Depth, at the least, is a must for Dallas this draft.
3. Keep T.O. - Say what you want about Terrell Owens, the man is headed to Canton one day to pick up his bust. He is still the teams best option at WR as well, though the Cowboys desperately need to get Roy Williams more involved. Dallas is lacking a bona fide deep threat, but Baltimore just showed you can go far without one. If Dallas does not improve their blocking, then keeping T.O. becomes even more important for those quick in routes a quarterback needs to get rid of the ball.
4. Upgrade The Offensive Coaching - Dan Reeves almost came to the Cowboys rescue recently, but things fell apart suddenly. Current offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is coming off an atrocious 2008 campaign that has most pundits scratching their heads wondering what Jerry Jones sees in him. Reeves would have certainly brought balance to the offensive scheme, but there are others out there who could also help. One name that jumps out is Jon Gruden. Gruden is aware of the importance of the running game, as to where Garrett seems to eschew the idea. Hiring an experienced coach like Gruden as a consultant could help bring the balance the Cowboys offensive play calling so desperately needs.
5. Get All Players To Stay Local - This offseason should have one theme: Concentration Towards Dedication. Players wanting to make the team must make a difference now. Stay in Dallas, work on mechanics, and stay in shape. Getting sharp now will translate on the field come August.
It isn't a long list, and there are several other teams with much longer ones. Dallas expects to get to the Super Bowl again this upcoming season. Hopefully they now notice the reasons they haven't in many years. The lack of leadership amongst the players is a glaring area, but the fact the Cowboys lost the line of scrimmage battle most games should be the primary focus. Getting all players on board early will be key.