NFL Preseason Picks: Dallas Cowboys

JIMMY’S PICKS

Washington Redskins: 9-7

DALLAS COWBOYS

America’s team is gearing up for a 2013 season with the weight of the world on their shoulders – yet again. Last season — similar to the past twenty — failed to amount to anything as the Cowboys were left with the patented Tony Romo ‘aw shucks’ face at the end of the year. Last year, Dallas was a decently balanced team until the injury of breakout rusher DeMarco Murray left them in relative disarray. Their campaign never found an honest groove as they broke even for the year at 8-8.

800px-Dez_Bryant_at_training_camp

Romo will only be able to go as far as role players such as Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray take him.

The Cowboys have been prone to air it out when the going gets tough, which often results in the many, many Tony Romo turnovers. A lot of fans just define Romo as a pick-off machine, whilst not looking into the real detail of the situation. Romo has been and will always be expected to carry the Dallas offense. Not that he has much to show for it, but he is their main event when they have the ball. Because of this fact, he must evidently feel pressured to make the clutch plays when the time comes. That killer instinct has evaded him.

The Cowboys need to establish a prominent running attack if they are to have any chance in the playoffs, let alone the NFC East. Players like Dez Bryant and Murray need to pick up the slack and produce in the numbers that they are expected. When Murray is healthy, he is a horse between the tackles. Bryant still needs to make adjustments to his game to reach the level of a league renowned superstar. Don’t forget about, that pesky back surgery that Romo just had. If he’s out, the Cowboys are out.

The Dallas defense that was so strong in 2011 took a bit of a nose dive in last season that hit rock bottom when the front office fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Look for the Cowboys to make some advances in their defense this season with their move to a 4-3. The beauty of a 4-3 defense is that, with the right personnel, there are a fair number of players in the box that can stop the run — while still being able to limit an opponent’s passing options. Because this is one of the most basic defenses in the NFL, coaches have plays upon plays that they can use to pick apart a 4-3, most notably a spread offense that takes the linebackers out of their comfort zone. The corners and safeties need to pick up the slack in order for a 4-3 – especially a debuting one — to have any chance of working.t has evaded him. The Cowboys need to establish a prominent running attack if they are to have any chance in the playoffs, let alone the NFC East. Players like Dez Bryant and Murray need to pick up the slack and produce in the numbers that they are expected. When Murray is healthy, he is a horse between the tackles. Bryant still needs to make adjustments to his game to reach the level of a league renowned superstar. Don’t forget about that pesky back surgery that Romo had this offseason. If he’s out, the Cowboys are out.

Prediction:

It’s difficult to see Dallas crossing the threshold this year. A fair prediction would be another disappointing 8-8 kind of season for the ‘Boys. They just have too many questions on the offensive and defensive side of the ball to be considered as legitimate contenders in a playoff run. They need to establish a feverish rushing attack between the tackles so that Romo can keep defensive lineman out of his face – as well as passes headed towards his actual teammates. However, that hasn’t happened in the past six years, so don’t anticipate any big surprises. The defense is currently in override-mode, meaning that they will still be pulling out kinks by Week Four. Expect Jerry Jones to start writing good-bye letters by December.

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