Two-a-Days: Dallas Cowboys
TheSportsWatchers want to get you in shape for the upcoming 2010 NFL football season. So in the spirit of NFL training camp, we are doing two-a-days to get you in gear for each and every NFL team.
The Dallas Cowboys finally broke their virgin seals last season. Their win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs gave the Cowboys their first playoff win since the Aikman era, and of course, Tony Romo gets the credit for it. However, with credit comes pressure, and one has to wonder if Romo is up to the task of leading his team to a home Super Bowl game.
2009 NFL Football Recap
The Cowboys entered the 2009 NFL season hoping and wishing that their offense wouldn’t disintegrate before their eyes. After releasing a wide receiver that had scored double-digit touchdowns in each of his three seasons with the team, the Cowboys had to turn to Roy Williams to help save their passing game. Naturally, Roy didn’t work out, and injuries to Patrick Crayton didn’t help that cause either. Instead, it was a young football player out of Monmouth University named Miles Austin that saved the Cowboys passing game—and maybe their season. Austin’s 1,320 yards and 11 touchdown receptions gave the Cowboys the #1 wide receiver they thought they had lost when they released Terrell Owens. And Austin may have been much better than what Owens would have produced when you factor in the high catch rate, the ability to run the screen play and Austin’s rapport with Romo. As for the rest of the Cowboys, this was a team that thrived in the rushing game on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys used a three-headed attack to finish 7th in the league in rushing. Stopping the run was easy too, as DeMarcus Ware held down the right side of the defense, and the Cowboys finished 4th against the rush.
At the end of the day, the season came down to beating the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas got the better of the Eagles for the first time in a while, winning all three games against a football team that won 11 games itself. The 24-0 pounding of the Eagles in the final game of the season gave the Cowboys 11 wins and the NFC East crown. And the Cowboys victory in the 2010 NFC Wildcard game gave Dallas the playoff victory they have long awaited.
2010 Offseason Transactions
The Cowboys didn’t make many major plays in the offseason, as they opted to go the more traditional route in their new post-T.O. era. The Cowboys used their first round draft pick on WR Dez Bryant, who of course, is anything but a noncontroversial guy at this point in his career. That being said, Bryant is a tremendous talent, and he could become the next best thing at wide receiver before you know it. The Cowboys let both LT Flozell Adams and S Ken Hamlin go, and they agreed to terms with OT Mike Tepper and S Patrick Watkins to help keep those positions stable.
2010 Predictions for the Cowboys
The Cowboys have a very tough schedule. For starters, they play in the vaunted NFC East, which is rough on every team in the division. Oddly enough, they finish the year with 3 out of 4 games against NFC East foes. They also have the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts on their 2010 NFL schedule, all of which could be troublesome games for this Cowboys team. Not to mention, they have some tough games against teams we don’t think a whole lot of right now, including the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals. With this type of schedule, the Cowboys are destined for a record that is less than symbolic of their team’s abilities. That being said, a tough schedule should make this team all that much better. So even if the Cowboys aren’t able to win the NFC East with the 10 games we think they will win in 2010, we still believe that the Cowboys will reach the NFC Championship game.