Dallas Cowboys' Top Storylines Now That Jason Garrett Is Head Coach
Jason Garrett has officially been hired as the Dallas Cowboys after going 5-3 to end the season and Jerry Jones conducting interviews with potential candidates (yeah right). Now that the press conference is over and it's been discussed all over ESPN, it's time for Garrett to get to work on this team. Here are the top storylines for the Cowboys entering the offseason.
Will Marion Barber and Roy Williams Be Given The Boot?
It's time to say goodbye to Marion Barber and Roy Williams. Barber hasn't run strong in two years and is constantly injured. He also tried to defy Garrett by not abiding by his dress code when Garrett became the head coach.
Garrett said earlier this season that the reason for Tashard Choice not getting more reps was that he wasn't excelling on special teams. Let Lonaye Miller play special teams and let Choice team up with Felix Jones.
There are people still trying to kill Roy Williams for his fumble against the Saints. Besides that he had a good season (when you compare it to the other two seasons he was in Dallas). However, there is a good chance that Williams could return if he's willing to take a major paycut, as he showed more chemistry with Tony Romo before Romo's injury.
Cowboys Defensive Changes
The Cowboys need a new defensive coordinator and some new pieces on defense. Paul Pasqualoni did a good job on the fly with the Cowboys defense sacrificing yards for turnovers and sacks, but the Cowboys gave up too many points and yards the last eight games of the season.
As for personnel changes, Garrett has to start looking for a replacement for Terence Newman. He's had a great career in Dallas but he's 32 and the Cowboys don't want to wait until he shows that he can't cover anymore before they do something about it.
Orlando Scandrick shouldn't be a candidate to replace him as he's a much better slot corner than he is on the outside. Also Alan Ball should go back to being a corner, because he didn't get the job done at all as a starter a free safety. He's not a good tackler in the run game and was always around a deep passing play, but never actually made a play.
There's also the case of Strong Safety. Gerald Sensabaugh, who was fourth on the team in tackles and tied for the lead in interceptions, is a unrestricted free agent. The Cowboys were reluctant to give him a contract last year and it might be the same this year with the threat of no football next season.
Cowboys Offensive Line Needs a Makeover
The offensive line was harassed at times this season needs a shape-up. Marc Colombo was abused all season, and as a result Leonard Davis didn't have a good season either. Kyle Kosier has had to deal with injuries problems this season and because of it his game has diminished
Doug Free had the most question marks around him coming into the season, but was the only one who was consistent all season. Garrett activated Sam Young for the last two games of the season and may feel that he's ready to compete for a starting job next season.
Montrae Holland is a solid backup and should continue to fill that role, and Alex Barron's Cowboys career is likely over.
Middle Linebackers And The Curious Case Of Anthony Spencer
The Cowboys also need to find some motivation for Anthony Spencer. Although he was second on the team in sacks and sixth in tackles, it's beyond me how you can have just five sacks with DeMarcus Ware opposite you and Jay Ratliff in the middle of the line.
It's a fact that Spencer isn't a pass rusher, but Victor Butler has shown flashes to be a solid just that and it might make sense to let him play on passing downs and let Spencer play on first and second down.
Also Keith Brooking's career won't get any better than in 2009, and it's time he realized that. Sean Lee is ready to take his place and Garrett knows that as Lee played a lot in the middle the last two games.
The Cowboys will be placed ninth (depending on coin tosses) which means that the Cowboys will have some options and they need to figure out what's more important: getting some help in the secondary, offensive line or somewhere else.
The Cowboys will also have to be wary of the dreaded bust draft pick and will have to figure out during the draft if trading down to get more picks is the right move. In the last two years the Cowboys have used their picks for supporting players that they thought would be able to start down the road. However most of those picks have either been cut or made almost no contribution, except for Sean Lee and Dez Bryant.
Here are the last 10 picks at the No. 9 spot:
Ted Ginn Jr.
The Cowboys didn't make any moves during last year's free agency period, saying that they have starters at every position and enough skilled backups, but the Cowboys could be players this offseason as the threat of a labor agreement not being reached will scare some teams out of making long-term commitments.
We all know Jerry Jones will not be one of those people, he has no problem throwing money around to get what he wants (just look at Cowboys stadium) and if Jones finds someone who is desirable enough he'll definitely go after him.
Now that were done with the Cowboys top issues heading into the offseason here's to hoping that this offseason a labor agreement can be reached and the Cowboys can be contenders heading into next season.