Dallas Cowboys Football: 5 Players with Insanely Bright Futures
The Dallas Cowboys football franchise has had its share of negatives in recent years.
On their 2012 campaign, they stand at 4-5, face an uphill climb for a playoff spot and have yet another head coach on the hot seat.
The injury bug has bitten hard through the first 10 weeks, and Jerry Jones has continued to rule with an iron fist.
But it's about time someone took a look at the positives for a change.
Remember what focusing on the positives did for the Miami Heat?
On that note, let's take a look at five current Cowboys who give the franchise hope for a bright future.
5) Dan Bailey (K)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Frequent readers of my articles know that I'm a big-time Dan Bailey fan.
After years of watching Cowboys give away seasons because of lackluster kicking performances (see Vanderjagt, Cortez, Cundiff, Suisham, etc.) Bailey gives fans confidence every time he trots onto the field.
And why shouldn't he?
Bailey kicked three game winners as a rookie last season, and is 16-for-18 so far in 2012. For his career, he's 48-for-55, or 87.2 percent.
If you're thinking to yourself: Wow, 87.2 percent is really good...you'd be right.
In fact, it makes him the most accurate kicker in NFL History.
And he's just 24 years old.
4) Morris Claiborne (CB)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Morris Claiborne was asked to be a lockdown NFL cornerback from the first day he put on a Dallas Cowboys uniform.
Rob Ryan built an entire defense upon the ability of his top two corners, Brandon Carr and Claiborne, to shut down opposing wide receivers every single week.
And Morris Claiborne has delivered.
But then, there was Sunday's game against Philadelphia. Claiborne racked up five penalties by himself: two offsides, two defensive holdings and a pass interference for good measure.
Everyone has bad days, right?
Bottom line was that the Cowboys still emerged victorious. Their season is still alive, and Rob Ryan will still be relying on Claiborne just like he has been all season long.
The best part is, that as reported by Nick Eatman of CBSSports.com, Jason Garrett noted that the rookie cornerback already had his confidence back following the Week 10 debacle.
And he should have it back. A bright future awaits.
3) DeMarco Murray (RB)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Speed. Toughness. Strength. Explosiveness. DeMarco Murray has nearly all of the tools to become a dream NFL running back.
He's just missing one.
DeMarco Murray could consistently be among the league leaders in rushing if he ever found a way to stay healthy.
Problem is, he hasn't yet.
The good news is that he's only 24 years old and could have five strong years left to produce Hall of Fame-type numbers.
That would be classified as a bright future.
2) Sean Lee (LB)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The oldest player on this list (at age 26) is inside linebacker Sean Lee.
Granted, Lee will be sitting out the remainder of the 2012 season to repair toe ligaments, but the future of the 2012 Pro Bowl snub is bright nevertheless.
The third-year pro from Penn State led the Cowboys in tackles (58) before his injury, as season which was progressing as a resounding follow up to his 105 tackles from 2011.
As stated by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News, Lee, combined with fellow inside linebacker Bruce Carter, have the Cowboys set at the position for the next six or seven years.
And speaking of Carter...
1) Bruce Carter (LB)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
The Cowboy with the brightest of bright futures is inside linebacker Bruce Carter.
A second-year pro from North Carolina, Carter was taken by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft despite tearing his ACL in his last collegiate game.
Coming off a summer of rehab, Carter never really saw a huge role in 2011. However, this season, Carter was called upon to fill in for the injured Sean Lee.
Uh, folks. Fill-in would be now be considered an understatement.
Carter has registered 20 tackles in his last two games, with 19 of them being of the solo variety. The speed in which he flies around the field has been breathtaking, and in recent weeks he's been able to track down the likes of Julio Jones and LeSean McCoy.
Not too shabby for a 24-year-old.