There is nothing wrong with planning for the future. But when we’re already looking forward to the draft and there are five games left to play, it’s usually an indication that something has gone terribly wrong.
That’s the situation for our 5-6 Dallas Cowboys, or what’s left of them anyway.
Injuries have decimated this team into a nearly unrecognizable state. Week 12 saw players like Cole Beasley and Lance Dunbar and Dwayne Harris playing full-time roles. If you didn’t have a calendar you might have mistaken it for a preseason game.
Even if DeMarco Murray is finally finding his way back to the practice field for the first time since early October, the loss of Bruce Carter, who was playing admirably in the place of Sean Lee, may be the final nail.
I’m sure there are those of you who believe had the Cowboys been healthy, they’d be contenders. Allow me to be the voice of reason.
Sure, they’ve been very unfortunate with a rash of injuries that started with Jason Witten early in the season, continued with Murray and ended with several star defensive players. But it’s impossible to ignore that the offense has been unreliable. Tony Romo has been inconsistent. Dez Bryant didn’t show up until a few weeks ago, just in time for Miles Austin to get banged up.
Leadership, turnovers, game management and special teams, not just injuries, played a big role in another disappointing season.
Of course, the season isn’t over. They could still run the table, finish 10-6 and earn a playoff spot. But it’s highly unlikely with a game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 and another date with a team that laid 28 points on them in one quarter on Thanksgiving Day.
Nope. This team isn’t going to the playoffs. It’s time to focus on the future. It’s time to reboot and do what’s necessary so that at this time next year, we’re not waving the white flag.
And that future starts with the first round of the 2013 draft. Here are four players the Cowboys should target.