With the Cowboys Organized Team Activities starting in the next few days there are a few questions being raised that a number of Cowboys players and staff are on the hot seat.
1. Is this the year Tony Romo will be the leader this team needs and lead them deep into the playoffs?
The 2011 season was Tony Romo’s best year as a starter. He completed 346 of 522 passes (66.3%) for 4,184 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a quarterback rating of 102.5. Those are great numbers but the Cowboys still ended up with a 8-8 record.
Was it all Romo’s fault? That depends on who you ask Dallas/Ft. Worth area. While Tony played some awesome games last year there were some games (New York Jets and Detroit Lions) that had you questioning Romo’s decision-making late in games.
Tony Romo will turn 34 years old after his contract with the Dallas Cowboys expires after the 2013 season. Will the Cowboys extend Romo’s contract when the time comes? Or is it time to find Romo’s heir apparent?
Is this the year Tony Romo finally takes the Dallas Cowboys back to the promise land or is it going to end badly like the last couple of seasons?“The Cowboys are as talented as just about any team in the league. I know that to win you have to have a great quarterback, and I believe that Tony Romo is that.”- Hall Of Fame Quarterback Troy Aikman
2. Will the 2012 Cowboys defensive line be able to generate enough pressure on opposing offensives?
As a defensive unit the Dallas Cowboys had a total of 42 sacks in the 2011 season which tied for 7th in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. Here is a breakdown of sacks by position.
Outside Linebackers: DeMarcus Ware-19.5 , Anthony Spencer-6, and Victor Butler-3 (total sacks 28.5 from the outside linebackers) which accounted for 68% of the team total sacks.
Defensive Line: Jason Hatcher-4.5, Jay Ratliff-2,Sean Lissemore-2, Marcus Spears-1, and Kenyon Coleman-1 (10.5 total sacks from the defensive line) accounted for 25% of the team total sacks.
Secondary: Orlando Scandrick-2, Danny McCray-1 (3 total sacks from the secondary) accounted 7% of the team total sacks.
Our defensive line was pushed around too much last year and we could not generate any pressure especially in crucial moments in the 4th quarter this has to be addressed by the Cowboys coaching staff ASAP.
3. Will Jason Garrett play calling be approved?
Garrett’s play calling at times has been called into question many times last season. From the icing his own kicker incident at Arizona, not running the ball enough with the Cowboys having a lead against the Detroit Lions in the 4th quarter, and the questionable red zone plays. Were they rookie coaching mistakes? Maybe but if the Cowboys want to end their playoff drought this year Jason Garrett’s play calling and decision-making must improve.
Dallas Cowboys regular Season offensive rankings under Jason Garrett.
2009-Run:7th/Pass:6th/Overall:2nd* (Most Balanced Season)
4. Will DeMarco Murray be 100%.
DeMarco Murray recently told the San Antonio Express-News that “I’m back 100 percent.” That is great news if you’re a Cowboys fan. Last season Murray rushed for 897 yards with a 5.5 yards per carry average and two touchdowns. Murray was on his way to a 1000 yard season until he suffered a fractured ankle in a loss to the New York Giants on December 11.The Cowboys offense noticeably different with Murray out of the line up.
5. Will the recent additions to our secondary payoff?
The Cowboys shocked the NFL world by moving up in the draft to the 6th spot to draft LSU stand out cornerback Morris Claiborne and signing former Kansas City cornerback Brandon Carr for 5 years/$50.10 million in free agency this year. In the cornerback position we have Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Mike Jenkins, and Orlando Scandrick this is a huge upgrade talent wise from last year’s squad. The pressure is on to perform in Arlington, Texas.