Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Top 5 Offensive Players

When I was asked to write this, I was a bit concerned. Dallas has tons of offensive weapons and guys who would be deserving of this list. However, my list got a little easier to produce, when I found out Laurent Robinson is now a Jacksonville Jaguar. He would have thrown a wrench in the entire situation. It still isn’t easy, but here are my top five players on the Cowboys’ offense. Let’s take a look at the top 5 Dallas Cowboys players and see how they can affect, according to SBRForum.com, their 2012 NFL odds.

5. Jason Witten

I know it’s probably a crime that I have Witten this low. The guy is a 7-time pro bowler, and a two-time First-team all pro. The guy has averaged 1014 yards per season over the last five seasons, and in those five seasons, he has 27 touchdowns.

Last season, Witten saw a huge dip in production. He went from 94 receptions in 2010, to only 79 receptions in 2011. He had nine touchdowns in 2010, but only five in 2011. Witten is now 30 years old, and might be seeing a dip in production after playing nine seasons.

However, he still is a very important, and almost critical member of the Dallas offense. When it’s 3rd and 7, and you need a first down to keep a drive alive, you go to Jason Witten. The guy is still 6’6 and 265 pounds.

4. Tony Romo

For all of you Romo haters out there, all I have to say is why? Why do you not like this guy so much? Are you really still holding onto that fumbled hold in the 2007 playoffs? They weren’t going to beat either the Bears or Colts that season even if they made it that far. Are you so quick to forget that Romo is the only reason you made the playoffs that season!

Ok, I’m sorry, but Romo should be higher on this list, but he settles into the 4th spot for one reason, the lack of playoff wins. If he had a Super Bowl and a better playoff record, he would be in the top three. Although no one in the top three of this list has those things, Romo is held to a higher standard because he is the quarterback.

Romo is a three-time pro bowler, and throughout his career, has put up stellar numbers. Last season, Romo had his third 4000 + passing yard season of his career. Oh, and he only tacked on 31 touchdowns to that number. Only in that 2007 season did he have more, when he had 36 touchdowns. Sufficed to say, if Romo gets the Boys to a Super Bowl this season, he will shoot up the next list.

3. Miles Austin

Much like Romo’s lack of playoff success is keeping him from the top three, Austin’s health problems have kept him out of the top two. Austin was hurt for most of last season, and he got rushed back from injury and got hurt again. He only played in ten games last season, and was only effective in five of them.

However, this season, if he is healthy, Austin should be ready to prove why he is still one of the best receivers in the game. In 2009 and 2010, Austin had 18 touchdowns and 2361 yards combined. He also played in all 16 games both seasons. If that hamstring is ready, Austin will be ready for another 1000-yard season.

2. Dez Bryant

I’ll give you another minute to harp on me for having Bryant this high. But, let’s be honest, he is the best athlete on the Cowboys, and possibly in the league. This guys runs a 4.52 40-yard dash, and has a 40-inch vertical leap.

Last season was a disappointment for Bryant. He is as much of a liability as he is a producer, and last season he was the former. He did have 928 yards and nine touchdowns last season, and I could make the case that he could have done a lot more than that.

For the Cowboys, if Bryant doesn’t make a big splash this season, his days in Dallas might be numbered. This is a first round draft pick, and even though he showed improvement in his second season, he will need to keep making strides on the field, and make strides to improve his behavior and conduct off of it. He is an all or nothing player, but he still has the second-highest upside of any of the Cowboys. He needs to be the undisputed number-one option for Tony Romo. However, he is only 23 years old.

1. DeMarco Murray

Speaking of upside, this kid gets my number one spot for just that reason. Murray exploded upon the NFL scene this past season. As a rookie, Murray ran for 897 yards and had two touchdowns. However, he only played in 13 games due to injury, and only started eight games. So, basically, if you multiply those numbers to account for a whole season of starting and taking snaps, Murray would have had well over 1600 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving.

Now, am I saying he will go for 2000 all-purpose yards this season? This is probably not the case. However, this kid is dynamic and will be great in the Cowboys’ offense for a full season. Murray did fall back down to earth after his 253 yard starting debut against the Rams, but he still averaged 91 yards per game as a starter, even without that monster of a game.

I’m predicting a 1800-yard all-purpose season for Murray. Even though I don’t think his touchdowns will be plentiful, he still has breakaway speed, so that will account for at least four or five end zone dances for the sophomore. As long as his knee is heeled, which it seems to be.

Comments
  1. Chance Haywood

    I couldn’t disagree more with this assessment.

    1. Costa needs to perform better. There were too many times last year when it just appeared this guy wasn’t playing with his head in the game. If he doesn’t improve the offense won’t either.

    2. Romo. He has played basically at the same level since his second year. Good to very good for the most part. We need great. He needs to surpass hit that 4600-4800 yard mark with 35-40 TD and less than turnovers for Dallas to have a remarkable run.

    3. Bryant. If he can’t put up a 1300 yard this year he never will. He has to produce and produce consistently the passing game to really flow at a dominating pace.

    4. Murray. If he doesn’t produce a 1200 yard year teams will be able sit back on the pass. And ya know what happens when defenses KNOW passes are coming right? Sacks happen.

    5. Smith. He has to become a beast. The sort of dominating nasty lineman Allen and Williams were. Without that on the right side we won’t have that super special rushing attack we need to make it to the Super Bowl. Murray may be an awesome back but even great running backs need paths cleared for them every play.

  2. Tom

    I really don’t have a problem with this list. However I will pick at Chance’s assessment above:

    1. Costa is a liability right now. He’s getting spooked by more experienced linemen. He’s talented, but very raw. You’re right that he drastically needs to improve, but Kowalski is actually a little more seasoned and handled his business better.

    2. Romo might not be able to do any better. Maybe more yards, but 31/9 was pretty darn good while hurt and no offensive weapons catching the ball other than Robinson and Witten.

    3. This is the make or break year for Dez. He doesn’t need to reach 1300 yards, but he needs to be a more reliable threat to catch and run. When he uses his body, he’s almost uncoverable. We need at least 1000 and 10 TDs out of him to be a bonafide beast and he simply needs to be smarter when the O-line breaks down to come back and give Romo a target to get rid of the ball.

    4. Murray doesn’t need to get to 1200 yards, but when you’re ripping off 5-8 yards a carry, that will keep the opposing D honest and hang back and wait for him or allow Romo to pick them apart waiting for him to get the ball.

    5. I agree here. Smith needs to do everything he can to develop a nasty streak and keep Romo on his feet and help open running lanes on the left side.

    A special mention of Miles. The fact he said he wasn’t ready to play last year was disturbing. He better come ready to play because when you only have one downfield threat will allow a D more chances to take you out of a play without much effort and allow more of a pass rush. Don’t be a bust after getting your contract.