Early Dallas Cowboys Awards for 2012
For a team standing at the equivalent of the crossroads, I'm not sure if team awards are necessary. The Dallas Cowboys are 2-2 and facing an Everest-like slate of games.
But no matter for them, Dallas is currently enjoying its bye week and preparing for the Baltimore Ravens.
In the interim, we will take a look at who has performed best for the Cowboys and give them their just due.
This is a phantasmal slate of awards that will reward some of the team's best players.
Here are a few early Dallas Cowboys awards for 2012.
Most Valuable Player: Tony Romo, QB
This one was a little tough because of Romo's Monday night performance against the Bears. The oxymoron version where he threw five interceptions but tossed 300 yards as well.
Yet Romo is one of the reasons why the Cowboys have two wins. He was masterful against the Giants and workman-like versus the Bucs.
He ran for his life when playing against the Seahawks and was full of errors when the Bears came to town.
Inconsistency befits the Cowboys, and that has not changed from former head coach Bill Parcells up to the current one, Jason Garrett.
I will not blame Romo for the Cowboys' errors, but it is something to say about giving an MVP award to a player coming off of a five-turnover ballgame.
Defensive Player of the First Four Games: Sean Lee, LB
Lee leads the team in tackles with 47 and can be seen chasing down your favorite football player on Sunday afternoons.
The scary part regarding Lee is that he is still growing and learning. He is nowhere near his prime and will continue to get better.
Lee leads the Cowboys in interceptions as well, just as he did in 2011, as he may have the best set of eyes on the defensive side of the ball.
Not to pole jock Lee to much, as he has a tendency to shed tackles, but he is a linebacker with great potential.
Offensive Player of the First Four Games: Tony Romo, QB
Can anyone honestly say that Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten or DeMarco Murray should win this award? Bryant had a career-high 105 receiving yards against Chicago, but he dropped three passes.
Austin has played well, but he has been saddled with injuries. Jason Witten, well, you know the history of Witten's spleen problem by now. It took the first three games to get himself into football shape.
Romo has been the lone bright spot for the Cowboys offense. At least in my eyes he has, because Murray can't find a hole to run through and the rest of the receiving crew cannot seem to hold on to the football when Romo throws it to them.
So, by default, Romo wins.
Rookie of the Year…So Far: Morris Claiborne, CB
Claiborne was brought into Valley Ranch with a lot of attention. The Cowboys moved up in the draft to get him to bolster their sagging defensive backfield.
Like many rookies, he has taken his lumps and is still on a learning curve, but he has played really well.
The Cowboys were torched by Giants quarterback Eli Manning for over 700 passing yards in 2011, and in one game this season, he was held to just 213 yards and one touchdown.
Dallas was able to sack Manning three times due to the great coverage provided by Claiborne and crew.
Like Lee, Claiborne is only going to get better and should provide great coverage against some of the NFC East's best receiving talent for years to come.
Player Who Has Shown the Most Potential: Bruce Carter, LB
As a side note, through the first four games, for a team that is supposed to have a ton of talent, there is a small pool of players to choose from for this set of awards.
At any rate, Carter was drafted to play right alongside Mr. Sean Lee. He is still in his rookie season to me because he missed the first six games of 2011 recovering from knee surgery.
Carter has 22 tackles on the season and knocked down 10 of them in Week 2 against Seattle. To measure stats, he only recorded two against the Bears, but he's still doing fairly well.
I said in the offseason that the Cowboys would have one of the best linebacking units in the entire league. There is Carter, Lee, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer if he ever lives up to potential.
Carter should continue on this upward swing for the remainder of the year.
Unit That Needs the Most Improvement: Cowboys Offensive Line
We've seen Phil Costa play center as well as Ryan Cook. Mackenzie Bernadeau and Nate Livings play at guard and have no consistency from anyone up front.
Romo ran around the field all game when the team traveled to Seattle, and he just about did the same thing when the Cowboys hosted the Bears.
Stability is something missing from Romo's protection and Murray's guides inside.
The longer these men play together, they should improve. Remember the Packers' Super Bowl run season? Remember Rodgers being throttled for the first half of the year?
I am in no suggesting that the Cowboys are on their way to a Super Bowl, but anything is possible. Dallas' offensive hogs just need to focus.