2010 Dallas Cowboys: A Look at What's Left in 2010 and What's To Come in 2011

Matt BercotContributor IDecember 2, 2010

Mike Jenkins (left) needs to play better if he wants to keep his job
Mike Jenkins (left) needs to play better if he wants to keep his jobMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 2010 Dallas Cowboys have been a disappointment.

They had Super Bowl aspirations before the season started and now they aren’t even going to make the playoffs.

Getting off to a 1-7 start pretty much did them in, but they bounced back and won two in a row after that before losing a game they should have won on Thanksgiving to the Saints.

Let’s take a look at what lies ahead for the Cowboys for the remainder of this season and then look at what key changes need to be made for next season.

Their remaining schedule is @ Indianapolis, v. Philadelphia and Washington, @ Arizona, and @ Philadelphia.

The Colts are on a three-game losing streak and Peyton Manning has seemed a little off so the Cowboys definitely have a chance in that game.

They have a realistic shot of splitting with both the Eagles and beating the Redskins. That just leaves the Cardinals, a horrible mess of a team. The Cowboys can definitely win that game.

It’s realistic the Cowboys could finish the season 8-8, which is fantastic after a 1-7 start. However, I predict they will finish 7-9. Jason Garrett has this team playing well now and he looks like he could be around for a while.

Now let’s take a look at the 2011 Cowboys and what they need to do to win early and often.

Their No. 1 priority has to be the offensive line.

Four of the five starters are getting up there in age and are injury prone. Aside from Doug Free, the new starting left tackle, no one’s job should be safe.

A great place to start would be to draft a top offensive linemen with their first round pick, maybe even trade up to get one. Free agency and trading can help here, too.

Next, they need to take a long, hard look at their secondary.

It looked pretty good, sometimes great, last season but this season has been just the opposite. Terrence Newman is getting older and has slowed down and Mike Jenkins is not playing like he did last year.

Orlando Scandrick should be safe, too, but if they don’t play better down the stretch, their jobs should be up for grabs. The safety position needs to be fortified, too.

Lastly, the defensive line needs to be addressed. Jay Ratliff is a beast of a nose tackle but is small and should be moved to defensive end.

Can you imagine Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware coming from one side and Anthony Spencer coming from the other? That would give offensive coordinators nightmares.

The Cowboys need to consider getting a bigger body to play in the middle of the defensive line. They also need to address Keith Brooking at linebacker. He isn’t getting any younger and Sean Lee was drafted this year for a reason. Let him play.

There you have it. This is just a snippet of what the Cowboys can do to close out the season and what they need to do in the offseason to have a chance to play in the Super Bowl next year.