2011 NFL Predictions: 3 Keys to Dallas Cowboys' Season

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIAugust 31, 2011

2011 NFL Predictions: 3 Keys to Dallas Cowboys' Season

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    The Dallas Cowboys need to step it up this year.

    The Cowboys are known as "America's Team," but they haven't acted like it in a while.

    Their last Super Bowl win was 1995, but with all the hype they get every year, you'd figure they won it every year.

    Last year especially was a disappointing year for Dallas. Tony Romo got injured, and the Cowboys went 6-10.

    For all the talent on this team, that's a disgrace.

    Here are the three keys to the Cowboys finally living up to the hype in the 2011 season.

Dez Bryant

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    Dez Bryant is a very raw talent.

    Selecting Bryant with the 24th pick in the 2010 draft was considered a steal by most, but Bryant has to clean up his act.

    He was initially known for refusing to participate in a training camp hazing ritual, which fed even more fuel to the fire about his maturity issues.

    A recent series of tweets, however, may speak volumes about his newfound maturity.

    Whether this will stick or not is another story, but Dez is going to have to stay healthy and tap into his potential if the Dallas Cowboys want to have a successful 2011 campaign.

Rob Ryan

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    Speaking of steals, snagging Rob Ryan as defensive coordination away from the Cleveland Browns was huge for this Dallas Cowboys team.

    Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan—there's a lot of good football knowledge between these three names.

    Rob Ryan needs to have this Cowboys defense playing at the level that was expected last season.

Tony Romo

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    Tony Romo needs to raise his game to the next level this season—there's just no way around it.

    The "America's Team" hype is due in large part to Jerry Jones and Tony Romo.

    While Jerry Jones has had success with the Dallas Cowboys, Romo has yet to live up to his expectations.

    Romo has a 1-3 record in the postseason.

    1-3.

    That's just not going to work.

    If the Cowboys want to make a serious playoff push this season, Tony Romo is going to have to produce at a much higher level.