FORWARD PROGRESS: Weapons Of A Different Breed

Forward Progress

Training camp is finally here! Rejoice Cowboys fans! Another beginning will soon be upon us, and this is the first step along the lengthy journey of the season. You win in December and in playoff games and in Superbowls by preparing both physically and mentally here in late July and August. I didn’t get a chance to hear much of the “State of the Cowboys” address by Owner Jones and Coach Wade, but let’s be honest, I don’t think I missed a whole lot other than some cliche’s and some hopeful optimism, not that there is anything wrong with that. I must admit that it is hard to be so close, yet so far away from real football. In a way, I am going to have to fight through a lot of the things that are going to be brought up and mused upon over the course of the next 3 or 4 weeks. You know, the usual suspects: Can Romo win in December? How will the offense perform without Terrell Owens? Can Wade get his players to stay motivated? Blah, blah, blah! I understand that the media has a job to do, but I am just not interested in the same ole, same ole.

Some of the things that I am looking forward to finding out over the course of training camp will be how the new additions to the defense are going to fit in, who will win the number two spot at wide receiver and maybe, just maybe, get a glimpse at how Jason Garrett plans to manage all of his unique weapons.

Ah yes, Mr. Garrett and his weapons. I can’t think of a Cowboys team in the past with a more unique set of offensive weapons than this 2009 outfit. It will be a challenge and a delicate balance to efficiently use all of the running backs and tight ends, as well as develop the chemistry and timing between Romo and Roy Williams and the rest of the receivers. I am excited to see what Garrett can do with this group. I still have confidence in Garrett, I think he did have some challenges and obstacles dealing with Owens last year and in the end I believe that it affected his play calling and game planning. That is just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

I think that the best thing for Garrett, Romo and the entire franchise would be to have the heart and soul and identity of this team actually be the running game. If you are able to establish the run week in and week out, then it makes everything else so much easier. You can control time of possession, and gain valuable field position by churning out those first downs. Honestly, if we are unable to establish THIS team’s running game than there will have to be major changes in many areas next off-season. The extremely well compensated offensive line, led by Leonard Davis, are just flat out going to have to open some holes and then let the three headed monster do it’s thing. We have 3 backs who could arguably be starters for almost 20 other NFL teams at least. There are other great backs in the league, but I can’t think of any teams who would turn down Marion Barber or Felix Jones, and very few who would not like to have a guy like Tashard Choice somewhere in the mix. All that being said, there are no excuses to not dominate in the running game this year.

Once we soften up the line of scrimmage, we can open up our can of beans and rice! We should be able to carve up the middle of the field as well as any team in the league with our dynamic tight ends. We have the top tight end in all of football in Jason Witten, who also will contribute to the running game with his solid blocking, and then the young, explosive Marty B as his sidekick. This will be one of the most exciting things to watch this year for me. It’s not exactly rocket science here. When it’s third down and six, look for Beans and Rice.

And then, when it’s time to really put it on them, as my boy Nate the Cowboy Ninja would say, just dial 9-11. Romo to Roy Williams, and don’t forget Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. This is where the majority of the big gains will and should come from and if the running game is established and the middle of the field has been softened up by the tight ends, it will be easy pickings for an accurate passer like Romo.

Man, just looking at all of the options gets me really excited, we have the weapons. It’s time to optimize them and, bottom line, that’s on the shoulders’ of the coordinator.

Cowboys Fan for Life – TD

No More Excuses

With the 2009 NFL Draft just around the corner, Cowboys fans across the nation have more questions than answers. The uncertainty of 2009 has many of us anxious to get this thing started. Predictions of 8-8 by so-called experts have many of us feeling frustrated and insulted.

Opinions of how to reach the pinnacle of the NFL vary as much as the hundreds of mock drafts being put together by football minds all over the country.

I see debates on various sites about who’s to blame and what the answers are. T.O. should not have been released. Owens should have been released. Felix Jones should be the starter. Tashard Choice should be the starter. Marion Barber should be the starter. Romo’s not the answer. Romo is without a doubt the answer. Wade should be fired. Jerry should fire himself.

With the possibility of a Miles Austin exodus looming over our heads, I’m one very nervous Cowboys fan without any real answers.

Keep in mind these are just the surface issues. I could probably write a 5,000 word essay just dealing with the questions Cowboys fans have. With no real answers.

I’m compelled to believe we can all agree on one thing. The time for excuses is over.

No more riding on our laurels. No more talk about 13-3 or 13 Pro Bowlers. No more “But this team did this and that team did that”. Time to lay to rest 2007 and 2008. The only true way to move forward is to( as cliche as it may sound) put the past behind us and don’t look back. No more talk about 44-6.

The pressure on this team to succeed – from top to bottom – is more intense than at any time that I can remember. This season will answer many questions. It is a make-or-break year for this organization. The time is now for Mr. Jones, Mr Phillips, Mr. Garrett, and Mr. Romo.

The time is now. No more excuses.