Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The Dallas Cowboys aka "The Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich
“The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich burst on to the WWF scene by winning the intercontinental championship two months after entering the federation. Just one and a half years later, he was addicted to cocaine and without a job. One year after that, he died of a drug overdose. There’s no question that Von Erich’s window of opportunity was small but he capitalized and made himself a huge star before his addiction did him in. I think the Dallas Cowboys have a similar window of opportunity. They play in the NFC which means they have a legitimate shot at one of the wild cards spots. However, their roster is old and will likely be overhauled within the next couple years.
Bill Parcells isn’t in Dallas to spend ten years turning this team around. He’s there to win and win now. Signing Drew Bledsoe was a “win now” signing. Some of you are going to think I'm crazy for saying this. Heck, I think I'm crazy for saying this. The most influential move of the off-season was Bledsoe going from Buffalo to Dallas. Buffalo's offense will be average at best with JP Losman at QB. Bledsoe has to be better than Vinny "I was a Hesiman contender in 1942" Testaverde. Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn are 33 and 31 repectively. This team has a shelf-life of 1.5 years. The Cowboys can win with this offense but Bledsoe will have to move the chains. Julius Jones is a very talented but even with his emergence at the end of last season, the Cowboys struggled mightily on offense. Jason Witten is one of the five best tight ends in the league. The Cowboys nabbed Marco Rivera from Green Bay which should improve the offensive line. Flozell Adams is fat. Larry Allen is fatter but he's still good. The Cowboys finally have a deep backfield after auditioning the likes of the broken down Eddie George and Troy “I’m better than old man Emmitt Smith” Hambrick. They signed Anthony Thomas and drafted Marion Barber III.
The Cowboys are intent on switching to a 3-4 defense. The criticism was that they didn’t have the personnel to make the switch. However, with two first round draft picks, the ‘Boys grabbed DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears. The defense was suspect last season but the roster is extremely talented. Jason Ferguson and LaRoi Glover are very good defensive tackles. Ware and Spears will provide talent and energy to the defensive line. The linebackers are probably the weak part of the defense although Dat Nyguen is still a very dependable pro. The secondary is young and deep. Aaron Glenn, Terrance Newman and Roy Williams are very talented and should make the Cowboys better than last season.
I’m torn on the Cowboys. I think they have a chance to do well. Bill Parcells won with less talented teams when he coached the NY Giants. I’m not sold at all on Drew Bledsoe but he just needs to be average which is no guarantee. I think the offense needs a top-flight wide receiver that can take a game over like Freddie Mitchell. Julius Jones is the real deal which will give this team some stability on offense. I think they can make the playoffs. They definitely won’t win the division so they’ll have to get the wild card. They’ll have to beat out Atlanta/Carolina, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis.
The schedule is not kind which makes me nervous about picking them to make the playoffs. However, they get Washington and the NY Giants twice each. I would put their chances of making the playoffs at 49%. However, under Parcells, strong running game + strong defense=Super Bowl contender. It remains to be seen if both components will be there this year.
Predicted record: 8-8