The 2009 Dallas Cowboys: An Outlook and Some Bold Predictions

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The 2009 Dallas Cowboys: An Outlook and Some Bold Predictions
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

A Look at the 2009 Dallas Cowboys and a Few Predictions

 

What’s New for the Cowboys?

Besides the new billion dollar stadium, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys have totally changed their philosophy on players.  Gone is the idea that bringing in talent no-matter-what is the best idea.  The Cowboys shipped out some disgruntled talent and others that might have brought distractions.  Jerry Jones even refrained from bringing in QB Michael Vick, which everyone was sure that he would do.   The Cowboys didn’t make many major additions this off-season as it was more of an “addition by subtraction” approach.

 

Gone:

LB Greg Ellis – He was a locker room distraction last year.  It’s great for the Cowboys that he’s gone.

DT Tank Johnson – The DT has had his problems with the law.

WR Terrell Owens – He splits locker rooms.  It could bring the Cowboys locker room closer together now that he’s gone.  The constant media distraction will be gone anyways.

CB Pacman Jones – He’s a complete distraction that is addition by subtraction.

SS Roy Williams – He’s lost that winning attitude in my book.  He used to be that hard hitting Ronnie Lott like SS.  Have you seen him on HBO with the Bengals?  On one show, he didn’t even want to practice when it was time to hit!  He’s lost it in my book.

 

That’s a major change in the way things are done with the Cowboys, a lot of big name talent gone and the prognosticators around ESPN and the internet do not know what to make of it.  I’ve seen many predict an 8-8 season.  That is totally wrong and I’ll explain why.

 

Quarterbacks:           

Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee

 

Tony Romo is the starter and many feel he needs to do something this year.  He is 29 years old now.  Now is his time.  I think Romo will do it.  Romo doesn’t have the Jessica Simpson distraction anymore.  He doesn’t have the Terrell Owens distraction either.  He certainly will have an urging from Roy Williams to get him the ball but he won’t be trying to force it to him as he may have done from time to time with Owens. 

 

Romo still has an incredible running game behind him and a great security blanket in Jason Witten.  I expect around 30 TD’s and 11 INT’s from Tony Romo this year.  He’s mobile enough in the pocket to avoid sacks and he has the tools around him to make something happen.  He’ll be in the Pro-Bowl.

 

Gone from the Cowboys is QB Brad Johnson.  Thank God!  Brad Johnson retired a year too late.  He didn’t have it last year.  The Cowboys have upgraded by trading CB Anthony Henry for QB Jon Kitna.  Kitna isn’t in his prime anymore either but he’s a nice upgrade from Brad Johnson.  He’ll be a nice fill-in for a couple of games if Romo goes down.

 

Runningbacks:

Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice, Deon Anderson

 

Marion the Barbarian is a BEAST.  Can he stay healthy?

 

Felix Jones was having an incredible rookie season with 8.9 yards per rush, until he went down with injuries.  Can he stay healthy?  I’ve heard some compare him to Tony Dorsett.  If I drafted Marion Barber in fantasy football, I’d be getting insurance by taking Felix Jones.  More than likely, one will get injured and the other will tear it up.

 

Tashard Choice is probably the best 3rd back on any team.

 

Look for Barber and Jones to split a lot of time.  Barber will get more TD’s and Jones will get the bigger runs.  Will there be two, 1,000 yard backs in Dallas?  The Cowboys have a good offensive line so, barring injuries, maybe.

 

Wide Receivers:

Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, Kevin Ogletree

 

I’m not sold on Roy Williams.  In his five years in the league, the most TD’s he’s ever scored in a season is eight.  He’s only had a 1,000 yard season once.  In 10 games with the Cowboys last year, he only had 19 catches with 1 TD.  He has the talent but he’d better show something this year.

 

Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin will be alongside Roy Williams.  Crayton, although he’s only been in the league 5 years, is now 30 years old.  He’s been serviceable, but nothing special. 

 

Miles Austin could be a surprise.  He averaged 21.4 yards a catch last year.  With other teams concentrating on the Cowboys’ running game, Roy Williams and Jason Witten, Austin should see single coverage all day long. 

 

Tight Ends:

Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett, John Phillips

 

I expect a big season out of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett.  Bennett calls them “Beans and Rice.”  The Cowboys will be living on a beans and rice diet this year.  Hopefully for the ‘boys, Roy Williams can add some flavor to that.

 

Offensive Line:

LT Flozell Adams, LG Kyle Kosier, C Andre Gurode, RG Leonard Davis, RT Marc Columbo, LT Doug Free, LG Montrae Holland, C Cory Procter, RT Pat McQuistan

 

The Cowboys have an aging offensive line but it’s very good.  They’re big and they’ve played together for a while now.

 

Defensive Line:

DE Marcus Spears, DT Jay Ratliff, DE Igor Olshansky, DE Jason Hatcher, DT Junior Siavii

 

The Cowboys run a three-four defense so don’t expect too much out of the D-Line.  Ratliff is the star of the line.  He had 7.5 sacks last year as a DT in the three-four.

 

The other starters are pretty solid.  Chris Canty is gone but Igor Olshansky should fit in nicely.

 

Linebackers:

DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Jason Williams, Victor Butler, Bobby Carpenter, Steve Octavien

 

Ware had 20 sacks last year.  Expect more of that from him. 

 

Gone is Greg Ellis and his 8 sacks.  He is replaced by former #1 pick, Anthony Spencer.  He’s been a disappointment so far but in all fairness, he’s had Ware and Ellis in front of him on the depth-chart.  This is the year he’ll get to start.  If he doesn’t do something this year, I think it’s fair to say bust.  I expect he’ll get about 7 sacks though, just enough to keep fans hoping he’ll become something.

 

Bradie James is a very good LB who had 8 sacks last year.  Don’t expect any decline here.  He’s in his prime and will only get better this year.

 

Keith Brooking came over from Atlanta and the hope is that he brings a good veteran presence.

 

Defensive Backs:

CB Terence Newman, CB Mike Jenkins, CB Orlando Scandrick, SS Gerald Sensabaugh, FS Ken Hamlin, FS Pat Watkins

 

Gone are SS Roy Williams, CB Anthony Henry and Pacman Jones.  The Cowboys shouldn’t really miss any of them.

 

The CB position is set with Newman, Jenkins and Scandrick.  They are all good.  The latest word from Jerry Jones is that former #1 pick, Jenkins and Scandrick will rotate as the starters.

 

The safety position could be a weakness for the Cowboys this season.  Gerald Sensabaugh was signed to man the SS position and Ken Hamlin is at FS.  They are both serviceable but not dominating.

 

Special Teams:

The Cowboys have 2 kickers, Nick Folk and David Buehler.  Folk will take the FG and extra point duties.  Buehler will take the kick-off duties.  This is good news for the Cowboys as the opposing teams starting field position was a problem last year.  Buehler can make touchbacks happen. 

 

The Cowboys didn’t have a real dangerous return threat last year and still don’t at PR this year but Felix Jones is interesting at KR and he could scare other teams.

 

The Cowboys 2009 NFL Draft:

Round 3

Jason Williams

OLB

6'1"

241

Western Illinois

Round 3

Robert Brewster

OT

6'4"

325

Ball State

Round 4

Stephen McGee

QB

6'3"

225

Texas A&M

Round 4

Victor Butler

OLB

6'2"

248

Oregon State

Round 4

Brandon Williams

OLB

6’2”

254

Texas Tech

Round 5

DeAngelo Smith

CB

5'11"

194

Cincinnati

Round 5

Michael Hamlin

FS

6'2"

214

Clemson

Round 5

David Buehler

K

6'2"

227

Southern Cal

Round 6

Stephen Hodge

LB

6'0"

234

TCU

Round 6

John Phillips

TE

6'5"

251

Virginia

Round 7

Mike Mickens

CB

6'0"

186

Cincinnati

Round 7

Manuel Johnson

WR

5'11"

189

Oklahoma

 

It’s not looking good for the Cowboys’ 2009 rookie class.

 

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a pick in the first 2 rounds.  The ‘boys had many picks after that, but it doesn’t look good so far.  The Cowboys’ draft has taken a hit before the season even started.  LB Jason Williams and S Michael Hamlin are both out another 3-5 weeks with injuries.  LB Brandon Williams tore his ACL and he’s out for the year.  LB Stephen Hodge (knee) is also out for the year.  T Robert Brewster could miss the entire season also, with a torn pectoral muscle.  QB Stephen McGee has also been banged up and couldn’t play in the final pre-season game.

 

5th round pick DeAngelo Smith, 7th round picks Mike Mickens and Manuel Johnson have both been cut.

 

The best player out of the draft for the Cowboys has been K David Buehler.  It’s too bad for him that Nick Folk is ahead of him.

 

Schedule and My Predictions (in parenthesis)

  1. Sunday, September 13th @ Tampa Bay (WIN)
  2. Sunday, September 20th vs NY Giants (WIN)
  3. Monday, September 28th vs Carolina (WIN)
  4. Sunday, October 4th @ Denver (WIN)
  5. Sunday, October 11th @ KC (WIN)
  6. BYE
  7. Sunday October 25th vs Atlanta (WIN)
  8. Sunday, November 1st vs Seattle (WIN)
  9. Sunday, November 8th @ Philadelphia (LOSS)
  10. Sunday, November 15th @ Green Bay (LOSS)
  11. Sunday, November 22nd vs Washington (WIN)
  12. Thursday, November 26th vs Oakland (WIN)
  13. Sunday, December 6th @ NY Giants (LOSS)
  14. Sunday, December 13th vs San Diego (WIN)
  15. Saturday, December 19th @ New Orleans (LOSS)
  16. Sunday, December 27th @ Washington (LOSS)
  17. Sunday, January 3rd vs Philadelphia (WIN)

 

The Dallas Cowboys will finish 11-5 and make the playoffs.  I fully expect the Cowboys to get at least one playoff win this year.  If the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs, expect head coach Wade Phillips to be fired before the team reaches the locker room in the final game.

 

 

Other (half-baked) Predictions:

 

1. In the pre-season, some punters have hit the Cowboys’ new scoreboard.  ESPN promptly began giving Jerry Jones and the Cowboys heck about it.  Jerry Jones said it only happened because the punters were trying to.

 

My Prediction:  Jerry Jones hires a paintball gun sniper.  It’s hush-hush in the press but the players all know about it.  Any punter that hits the scoreboard will get tagged on his way out of the stadium.

 

2. Terrell Owens at some time during the season will trash talk his new team, the Buffalo Bills.  So what happens with him in Buffalo?

 

My Prediction:  Owens will whine so much in Buffalo, and because they won’t be winning, he will get released.  The Cowboys are going to have a great start but struggle at the WR position.  Owens, wanting to join a winner where he can be the top WR, will sign with the Cowboys again.

 

3. Jerry Jones realizes his 2009 draft was so bad that he figures he has to do something.

 

My Prediction:  Jerry Jones fires the hot dog lady because she must have influenced him with the draft.  There’s no way JERRY JONES drafts that bad.

 

4. What’s with the Dallas Cowboys QB’s and blonde singers?  Troy Aikman dated country music singer Lorrie Morgan.  Tony Romo has dated Carrie Underwood and soon after their break-up, he dated Jessica Simpson.  Who’s next for Tony Romo?

 

My Prediction: Romo will swear off relationships for the 2009 season and then in the off-season he’ll hook up with Kellie Pickler.  This will cause a rift between friends Carrie Underwood and Pickler.  This rift becomes very public leaving ESPN to blame Tony Romo, Jerry Jones and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for being relationship wreckers, every 5 minutes for 2 weeks straight.  The “E! Online” channel then adds Pickler/Underwood to it’s “Top 30 Sexy Celebrity Rivals” list.  Eventually Romo breaks up with Pickler before the 2010 season.  Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood and Jessica Simpson then get together to write and compose a song called “Heartbreaker” about Tony Romo, where they all rip him to shreds.

 

Check out my article on song dedications to each NFL team

 

 

 

 

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