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Dallas Cowboys

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GM: Jerry Jones
HC: Jason Garrett
2011: 8-8 (3rd NFC East)
2011 Quick Stats
Offence Defence
Pts
23.1
(15th)
Yds
375.5
(11th)
Pass Yds
262.2
(7th)
Rush Yds
112.9
(18th)
»Full Team Stats



Last Season

Great expectations always follow the Cowboys around and 2011 was no different.

A four-game winning streak in November had Dallas sitting at 7-4 with realistic visions of winning the division and hosting a playoff game. It wasn't meant to be in Big D, as the Cowboys went 1-4 down the stretch, ultimately losing to the Giants in Week 17, which kept them out of the post-season for the second straight year.

Who's In/Who's Out

Important Additions: LG Nate Livings, RG Mackenzy Bernadeau, ILB Dan Connor, CB Brandon Carr, QB Kyle Orton, FB Lawrence Vickers, CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah

Important Losses: TE Martellus Bennett, LG Montrae Holland, ILB Bradie James, CB Terence Newman, SS Abram Elam, P Mat McBriar, QB Jon Kitna, RB Sammy Morris, OG Kyle Kosier, FB Tony Fiammetta, WR Laurent Robinson, ILB Keith Brooking, CB Alan Ball, CB Frank Walker

Drafted

Pick Player Pos Ht Wt College  
1 (6) Morris Claiborne CB 5'11 188 LSU CB Morris Claiborne
Analysis: Claiborne is a significant upgrade to Dallas' secondary, which has been one of the weakest areas of their team the last few seasons.
3 (81) Tyrone Crawford DE 6'4 275 Boise St.
Analysis: The Windsor, Ontario native has been one of the stars of Cowboys' training camp and should see time as a situational pass rusher.
4 (113) Kyle Wilber LB 6'4 249 Wake Forest
4 (135) Matt Johnson SS 6'1 212 Eastern Washington
5 (152) Danny Coale WR 6'0 201 Virginia Tech
6 (186) James Hanna TE 6'4 252 Oklahoma
7 (222) Caleb McSurdy LB 6'1 245 Montana
» Complete NFL Draft Results

Season Outlook

Reasons To Believe
1.
Offensive Fire Power - The Cowboys' offence boasts one of the most talented set of skill players in the entire NFL. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and DeMarco Murray are each capable of taking over a game and leading the team to victory. Romo appeared all 16 games last season, throwing for 4,184 yards and 31 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. Bryant has shown flashes of his elite ability and this could be the year he takes the next step. Austin and Witten both have great chemistry with Romo and Murray could finally allow them to establish a balanced attack.

Making The Leap?
Will Tony Romo ever make the leap to elite QB status and deliver the Cowboys to promised land? Cowboys fans hope so.

2. Improved Secondary - The Cowboys ranked 23rd in pass defence and if you watched any of their games, that ranking seems generous. Jerry Jones was proactive in the off-season, acquiring free agent Brandon Carr from the Chiefs, while moving up in the draft to select Morris Claiborne. Carr has been exeptional in training camp and looks to be a major upgrade on former starter Terence Newman, who is no longer with the team. In a division with several dangerous passing attacks, the Cowboys may be ready to mount a defence.

3. Don't Doubt DeMarcus - With six straight seasons of double digit sacks, DeMarcus Ware is firmly entrenched as one of the best pass rushers in the league. Ware came close to cracking 20 sacks in a season for the second time in his career, posting 19.5 in 2011. With Ware on the field, offences are required to take notice and that means a little less pressure on everyone else in Rob Ryan's crew.


Reasons To Doubt
1. Offensive Health - The Cowboys' receiving corps has been decimated by injuries this preseason with Bryant nursing a knee injury, Austin out with a faulty hamstring and Witten suffering from a lacerated spleen. Despite playing a full season in 2011, Romo hasn't been the model of health and DeMarco Murray is coming back from an ankle injury that cost him time last season. The roster is full of skill and scoring ability, but they will need to stay on the field for the team to find success.

2. Offensive Line Woes - The Cowboys' blockers have had trouble opening lanes in the run game and maintaining a pocket for Romo. Tyron Smith and Doug Free are decent on the outside, but it's the interior of the Dallas line that struggles. The team will start two new guards, Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau at the guard positions, while Phil Costa returns at centre. Costa's preseason back injury caused some concerns, however it appears he will be alright to start the season. Keeping Romo healthy behind this line will be difficult.

3. Third Receiving Option - Aside from the injuries to their receivers, the Cowboys have lost Laurent Robinson in free agency. Robinson posted a surprising 11 touchdowns last season, with 54 receptions for 858 yards. With Robinson departed, the Cowboys will look to Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and fifth rounder Danny Coale to fill the void. Robinson's increased production was in part due to the time he spent in the starting lineup. If one of those three players don't step up and Bryant or Austin miss time due to injury, it could spell trouble for Romo and the offence.

What To Expect
The Cowboys are having a nightmare preseason with all their injuries. With their skill players hurt and the poor play of their offensive line, Dallas' star may be dimming in 2012. Regardless of their improvements on the defensive side of the ball, if their skill players miss significant time to start the year, it could put them too far back to recover from in the standings. Healthy, they are playoff contenders, but there seems to be something absent in Dallas and that could mean another year without a playoff appearance.


Fantasy


Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Players: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2012 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: Offence


Team Schedule
Week Date vs Week Date vs
1 Sep 5 10 Nov 11
2
Sep 16 11 Nov 18
3 Sep 23 12 Nov 22
4 Oct 1 13 Dec 2
6 Oct 14 14 Dec 9
7 Oct 21 15 Dec 16
8 Oct 28 16 Dec 23
9 Nov 4 17 Dec 30
Bye Week: 5
» Full NFL Schedule



2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Round-by-Round Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, and Aeneas Williams, headlined this year's Hall of Fame class. More...

Podcasts

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

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TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 28 - John Kryk

SunMedia NFL Columnist, John Kryk joined Bryan Hayes to discuss the potential of Manziel & EJ Manuel's struggles in camp.

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 23 - Jim Trotter

ESPN NFL Analyst, Jim Trotter joined Bryan Hayes to discuss Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam, Brett Favre's Packers legacy & Johnny Manziel.


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