An early look at the Cowboys 2012 offense

Let’s take a look at the Cowboys offense as we start getting closer to training camp. There are changes mostly to the offensive line, but will those changes make a difference? Let’s hope so because with improvement from the offensive line means the rest of the offense will start producing more.

Since the end of the 2011 season the focus has been to correct the offensive line issues. It’s been blamed for the running game not being effective and for Tony Romo running for his life. In the last year the Cowboys have said goodbye to older veterans Kyle Kosier, Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis and Andre Gurode. In their places are the younger Tyron Smith, Doug Free, Phil Costa, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, David Arkin, Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski and Ronald Leary.

Whatever the starting five turn out to be they are going to be counted on to get the Cowboys offense to the next level. Tyron Smith and Doug Free will be the starting tackles as they swap spots from last season. Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings who were signed through free agency will most likely be the guards considering the contracts they signed during the off season, but Bernadeau is still recovering from off season surgery on his hip. Chances are that Phil Costa will remain at center, but will face competition in camp from Kevin Kowalski and Bill Nagy.   

After so much work to rebuild the offensive line let’s hope that all the right moves were made. With an improved offensive line it will only help the running game of DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner, with newly signed fullback Lawrence Vickers leading them. Of course with an effective running game it will open up the passing game for Tony Romo to find Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and whoever the third receiver ends up being. The Cowboys offense lost a lot of production when Laurent Robinson decided to leave through free agency and will be hard to replace. The Cowboys have a nice mix of receivers who will be fighting it out for that third spot. Players like Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, Cole Beasley and fifth round pick Danny Coale from Virginia Tech. Don’t rule out the Cowboys looking for a solid veteran as the season gets closer to fill that third receiver spot either.

The Cowboys offense has a mix of youth and experience that can only benefit the team.  Maybe some of the Cowboys undrafted free agents will also find a place on this team, like guard Ronald Leary, which will only add to the depth that is so important to any team. The Cowboys also improved the backup quarterback position with the signing of veteran Kyle Orton. He could be considered one of the best backups in the league, if not the best.

Looking at the Cowboys offense on paper there is excitement that they can be one of the top units in the NFL this season, depending on how well the offensive line plays. Time will tell whether or not the Cowboys have done enough this off season to improve, but hopes are once again high that the Cowboys have the pieces in place to get to that next level.


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