NFL Team Previews: Dallas Cowboys

Pigskin HeavenCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2009

SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 06:  Wide receiver Roy Williams #11 of the Dallas Cowboys during training camp at the Alamodome on August 6, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Pigskin Heaven's Sascha Bartels is breaking down every single team in the NFL prior to the season. Here is his analysis and forecast for the Dallas Cowboys. Click on a team to read their preview.

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ

AFC North: BAL | CIN | CLE | PIT

AFC South: IND | HOU | JAX | TEN



NFC North: CHI | DET | GBA | MIN

NFC South: ATL | CAR | NOL | TBA


Whatโ€™s new?

It's out with the old in "Big D."

Gone is Terrell Owens, gone is Roy Williams (the safety), Anthony Henry, Chris Canty, and Greg Ellis.

Who's in? Well, Jon Kitna provides a decent backup to Tony Romo, while Keith Brooking, Gerald Sensabaugh, and Stephen Bowen are there to boost the defense.

I'm not sure if the Cowboys are better off now than they were at the beginning of the offseason. And without a draft pick on the first day, the Cowboys had to make due with what they had left, leading to third-round selections Jason Williams and Robert Brewster.

The Cowboys are probably well off by getting rid of a few of the malcontents and stalwarts like Owens and Williams, but it just doesn't look like they restocked the cupboard up to usual Cowboy standards.

The biggest headlines surrounding the team this season are not about the players, but about the new stadium and it's gigantic video board.

Three burning questions

Will Roy Williams (the receiver) fill Terrell Owens shoes?

You can say many things about Terrell Owens, but you can't deny his production.

Owens surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons in Dallas. Surely that's something Williams can duplicate.

However, Owens also led all receivers over those three years with 38 TD receptions, a stat that may be too tall a task for Williams to live up to.

Roy hasn't been counted on as the guy on a playoff-caliber team throughout his career, and while he did produce in Detroit, will he be able to do the same in the highly-competitive NFC East?

Can the pass rush repeat last year's success?

While it's easy to say DeMarcus Ware is the sole reason for Dallas' success in the pass rush, the Cowboys had three other players with eight sacks last season, including the departing Ellis.

As Ware's totals are almost guaranteed to take a small hit, will the supporting cast continue its play from last season?

Jay Ratliff is a nose-tackle who had eight sacks last season, and he's unlikely to do that again. Same goes for Bradie James.

But the Cowboys do have the likes of Igor Olshansky and Marcus Spears to try to take some of the load off Ware and company. I still believe the pass rush will not be near as effective as last year.

Can the offensive line stay intact all season?

Last season, during my Dallas preview, I called the Cowboys one of the most dominant lines in the league.

Well, they still look pretty dominant, but all of the projected starters are over 30 years old, and I'm not a fan of their depth.

Dallas is likely to employ a run-heavy offense this season. With Barber, Choice and Jones sharing the load, will the offensive line hold up?


For the prognosis and final record, read the originally posted article here.

This is an original article by Pigskin Heaven Staffer, Sascha Bartels. You can read it, more of Sascha's articles, and more from the Pigskin Heaven staff here.


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