Keys To a More Successful Season for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010
The 2010 off-season has been a fairly quiet one for the Dallas Cowboys, especially by their standards. Outside of the drafting of highly touted wide receiver Dez Bryant and the release of the highly criticized Flozell Adams, there have not been any major happenings in Cowboy camp. Here are five moves the Cowboys need to make by the end of the off-season to have a more successful season in 2010.
Name Felix Jones the starting back
In my opinion, this is the most important move the Cowboys need to make for their offense to be more productive next season.
Ever since Barber moved from his role of late game and third down back, a role where he was named a Pro Bowler, to starting running back, he has been plagued by injuries and disappointing stats.
If Felix Jones can produce near the same yards per carry as a starter as he does as the back up, the Cowboys can produce monster numbers in the running game.
This change would likely help Barber stay healthy, which has been a huge problem as of late. With Felix Jones and Tashard Choice putting up the numbers they are able to put up early and a hopeful return to Pro Bowl caliber for Marion Barber late in games, the Cowboys should have one of the top, if not the best rushing attack in the NFL.
Sign a safety
One of the biggest losses for the Cowboys in the off-season was the loss of safety Ken Hamlin. He has not exactly been the cream of the crop in the last two years, but without him the Cowboys will have to start an unproven Alan Ball at Free Safety, with Gerald Sensabaugh lining up at the Strong Safety position.
Many people were surprised when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he had no interest in free agent O.J. Atogwe, especially considering the upcoming uncapped season. Some people think Jerry might be becoming more weary of his money than in the past, while others think it may be a sign of learning from past mistakes and not paying big bucks for a possible locker room distraction.
Regardless, the safety position is the biggest weakness the Cowboys have. This late into the off-season and after passing on a talent such as Atogwe, it is doubtful that the Cowboys will actually sign anyone.
Make Roy Williams The Third String Receiver
Of all the moves Jerry Jones has made as general manager, trading for Roy Williams has panned out to be one of his worst.
The Cowboys showed that they do not have much faith in Williams when they traded up in the draft to get Oklahoma State standout Dez Bryant. Bryant will likely start the season as the third receiver, with Austin as the main target and Williams as the number two option.
As the season goes on and Bryant develops a chemistry with Romo, he could likely be moved up to the second string position. Thus, moving Williams down to third string.
Do not be surprised to see Patrick Crayton use this off-season as motivation and have a better season than years past, and possibly even work his way up the depth chart.
Run The Ball More
Dallas ranked 17th in rushing attempts last season with 436 attempts while ranking second in the NFL with an average of 4.8 yards a rush. If the Cowboys make Felix Jones the starting back, like they should, expect that average to go up to over five yards a rush.
With increased rushing attempts and yards per carry, the Cowboys could easily lead the NFL in rushing next season.
Relying more on the rush would also open up the passing game for the Cowboys, making their big play receivers even more of a threat.
Finish The Drive
While the Cowboys ranked second in the NFL in total offense, they were only 14th in points produced. The big problem was Dallas' inability to finish the drive once they got into the red zone.
With Marion Barber not being worn down throughout the game, he will be much fresher when the Cowboys get deep in the oppositions territory. This will make him a much bigger scoring threat than in the past two years, where he was often worn down or hurt.
Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Roy Williams provide Tony Romo with plenty of big targets, making the passing attack just as dangerous as the run.
The Cowboys have all the tools in place to be a successful red zone team, they just need to put a major focus on it in the off-season so they are able to go out and execute to their maximum capabilities on Sundays.
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