With the start of training camp and the impending football season, I was left to wonder: What kind of team will the 2009 Cowboys be?
Sure, there were a couple of big names to make their way out of Dallas this offseason: Greg Ellis, Roy Williams, and Terrel Owens to name a few. But if you really sit down and think about it, the subtraction of those three makes the Cowboys better.
Terrel Owens was slowly becoming an enigma in the locker room last year. And like his previous stops in San Francisco and Philadelphia, he ended up splitting the locker room here in Dallas.
Taking into account that there are still some young players in the locker room, Jerry couldn't allow for that to continue. So getting rid of T.O. is a plus.
Greg "Contract" Ellis was another positive subtraction. He has disputed his contract the past two seasons. You also need to take into account that this will now give Anthony Spencer a chance to prove he is ready to be a starter.
Some people may want to argue this fact, but letting Roy Williams, the safety, go is better. Williams couldn't cover an 85-year-old woman in a little rascal, much less cover some of the elite receivers in the NFL.
Yeah, this does leave a lot of youth in the secondary. But I would rather take the youth than have to see Randy Moss running down the sidelines with Williams 20 yards behind him.
One of my big worries about this season is the fact that DeMarcus Ware still isn't signed to a long-term contract. Just like with any potential free agent, you worry that if he has a stellar season, he will walk to where the money is. But with Ware, this defense should be a good unit this season.
Looking at the offensive side of the ball, you can't really help but feel excited. There are three exciting running backs that should all see good playing time this season.
Marion Barber is your tough bruising back who will knock your teeth out.
But then you also have Felix Jones, who missed time last season with an injury, who will just run past you before you know what happened.
Last but definitely not least is Tashard Choice, who showed last year that he is very deserving of any and all playing time he gets.
One thing that is going to be a big factor is Tony Romo's performance this season. Sure, this will only be his third technical season as the full-time starter, but all people in Dallas want to talk about is how he hasn't won a playoff game.
Let's not forget it took the great Peyton Manning six years before he won a playoff game. So hopefully the media and naysayers of the Cowboys will hold their tongues and give him a chance to prove them wrong.
The receivers are going to be good this year. Headlining the show is former Texas stand-out Roy Williams. While he never has put up great numbers in his career, you have to remember that he played all of his previous seasons in Detroit. And let's face it, nobody can succeed in that place.
Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton round out the other two main spots on the receiving corps. Austin is a better No. 2 guy just because he has the speed to get the breakaway touchdown. But Crayton is a good slot and possession receiver.
The last big weapon on the offense is going to be Jason Witten. He is an All Pro tight end who doesn't shy away from contact. With a safety valve like Witten going down the field, this offense shouldn't have any problems moving the ball.
But that's easy to say on paper.
Looking at this team top to bottom, the Cowboys have a good roster ready to have a great season. Still, I don't know how they will stack up against the other teams in the NFC East.
Doing a quick glance of the schedule, I am going to walk out on a limb and guess that the Cowboys will probably go 11-5. Is this going to be good enough to win the division? I don't know; only time will tell. But this will be at least good enough to get in the playoffs.
Maybe that is the eternal optimist in me coming out...either way, the season starts on Sept. 13, and we will know real quick how far off I am.
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