I am a very analytical ‘stats’ kind of fan. I like to learn from the past to predict where we may go in the future, so please bear with me as I ramble on in my blogs. I ended my last blog wanting to talk about the offensive line and the defensive secondary – and that I will.
2010 will mark 15 years since the Cowboys last hoisted the Lombardi trophy. Let’s analyze then and now:
1995 produced four Pro Bowl offensive linemen (arguably it could have been five). Names like Erik Williams, Larry Allen, Ray Donaldson, Nate Newton, and Mark Tuinei should bring a smile to any die-hard Dallas fan! 1995 also produced a line that gave up only 14 sacks for the entire season for a drop-back, pocket passer that would only scramble if there was a single, female country singer within his view (yes, I will give credit where credit is due to the slant route and to Emmitt).
2009 produced two Pro Bowl offensive linemen, Gurode and Davis; however, this line allowed 34 sacks for a scrambling quarterback that could give Houdini a run for his money. Yet, this line produced 4.8 yards-per-carry for arguably one of the best three-headed running attacks in the league. Hmm?
Arguably one of the best shut-down cornerbacks of all time basically cut the field in half (Deion Sanders) allowing Larry Brown, Darren Woodson, and Brock Marion to flourish; with Woodson having a Pro Bowl year.
2009 produced two Pro Bowl corners in Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins; but the safety positions remain in question.
So my first question – with names like Kosier, Gurode (Pro Bowl ’09), Davis (Pro Bowl ’09), Free, Colombo, Barron (who by all accounts is just another Flozell), and 7th round pick Young, can they keep Romo healthy enough (and calm enough in the pocket) to hit our targets? We know they can run block, but can they protect the QB?
My second question – do you feel that the defensive line and the linebacker core are strong enough (which by all indications they are) to be left alone, or will they end up, more times than not, leaving Newman and/or Jenkins alone in space as they keep a safety in the box? What are their names? Ball, Church, Hamlin, McCray, Owusu-Ansah, and Sensabaugh. You be the coach, what lineup do you go with?
In this writer’s opinion, the offensive line (particularly the left tackle) and the safety positions will determine the fate of this upcoming season.