A Redskins fan's take on the 2005 Cowboys

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by E-Dog Night, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. E-Dog Night

    E-Dog Night New Member

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    For a little perspective: I’m a 36-year old die hard life-long Redskins fan who had nothing better to do a work today then to write my own take on how the Cowboys will fare this year. I believe I have been as objective as possible and I hope that some of my negative opinions don’t get me banned from the board. And I’m certainly not trying to talk trash – after all, I’m well aware of the Redskins record against the Cowboys as of late. And I did say some positive things as well, so hopefully you will take this as the opinion an informed fan and not a troll trying to start a flame war.

    Let’s start with the offensive line, which I believe is the most important unit on any NFL team.

    Unfortunately for the Cowboys, this might just be their least formidable unit in several years which could keep the offense from scoring very many points this year. There are serious issues at several key positions, starting at right tackle, which was a trouble spot last year as well – and there does not appear to be an immediate answer. It doesn’t seem likely that a rookie (Rob Petitti) will be ready to handle the position this year, and Jacob Rogers, hardly a force to be reckoned with when healthy, has had knee and shoulder problems. Kurt Vollers hasn’t exactly lit up the league in his three years as a pro. One solution that has been floated around is to move Larry Allen to right tackle and putting newly signed Marco Rivera in his guard spot, but that’s not exactly ideal. Rivera has been hurt himself with back & hammy issues, and Allen is not the same player he was in the 90’s – I doubt he has the necessary speed to deal with outside pass rushers. I predict the O-line will be an ongoing quandary for Dallas this year.

    This leads us to Drew Bledsoe and the quarterbacks. There’s no doubt that Bledsoe is a damn good QB – if he has time to throw the football. He makes Vinny look like Michael Vick back there, and we’ve all heard about his propensity to hold on to the football too long. Even Bledsoe himself has commented on it. Entering his 13th year in the league, I don’t see him magically exercising himself from this problem. If the line can keep him clean, then Bledsoe can be effective. He is simply unable to make plays with his legs, and if the offensive line is leaky like I expect it to be, this could spell real trouble. I don’t think Tony Romo (who apparently is beating out bonus boy Drew Henson for the backup job) is the answer, but I really haven’t seen him play, so I don’t know what he’s capable of. Maybe being reunited with Parcells will light the fire under Bledsoe’s *** that needs to be lit. I think many Dallas fans are counting on that.

    Bledsoe’s saving grace might be the play of Julius Jones, who I think is the real deal. A lot of people were tearing Parcells a new one in the press after he passed on Kevin Jones and Stephen Jackson in the draft, but it appears that after all these years, Parcells has developed an eye for the groceries. I don’t expect a sophomore slump for Jones, if he remains healthy. Anthony Thomas provides, at this stage of his career, and experienced leader who can be successful in short yardage situations. From what I understand, Tyson Thompson has made a name for himself in camp & preseason, and has speed like a gazelle. Overall, this is the strength of the Cowboys offense, and clever use of play-action may offset the need for stellar pass protection.

    The receiving corps is a hard read for me. Keyshawn isn’t getting any faster and Terry Glenn seems to get hurt a lot. Quincy Morgan reminds me of Rod Gardner – makes the spectacular catch but drops the easy one. In all, they are not the best corps in the league but certainly not the worst either. They can win games (as witnessed in the game that made me want to cry last year) but no one is afraid of them. The problem is that if Key has problems getting open and Glenn is always running a deep route, that puts Bledsoe in a vulnerable position with his penchant for holding on to the ball too long.

    Bledsoe’s main receiver is likely to be Jason Whitten, who has clearly established himself as a top-tier TE. He had 87 grabs last year and I don’t expect that to change much. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him lead the team in catches.

    Now comes the defense. The big news on the D-line is obviously the switch to the 3-4 defense, but a quick glance at the Cowboys website tells the story of a mix between 3-4 & 4-3, which is probably a wise move. Even though it’s only one player, there’s a big difference IMO between the two schemes, and switching over entirely would mean a lot of growing pains. One of the reasons that many so called experts said the Cowboys had the best off-season was the addition of Jason Ferguson at nose tackle…because Ferguson is a beast in the middle. It’s a great pickup. But it means that some guys will have to adjust to new roles in the 3-4. That’s where reverting back to the 4-3 will help – it will keep a comfort zone there. The big problem I see is depth. While Ferguson has been able to remain relatively healthy during his 8 years with the Jets (though he has certainly missed some games, including the entire 2001 season with a torn rotator cuff), if he gets hurt, that really throws a monkey wrench into things. There will be some serious scrambling to patch things together and teams should be able to run the ball down the throat of the defense in that scenario. But if everyone stays healthy, and rookie Marcus Spears lives up to the hype, the defensive line could be dominant.

    The linebackers are a solid but not spectacular group. Dat Nguyen will make his tackles but is not a game changer. Apparently Demarcus Ware will move from DE where he played in college to OLB, so it will be interesting to see how he makes that adjustment. I’m really not sure who the other LBs will be to be honest with you, but in any event I’m not anticipating much from this group this year.

    The secondary should be much better this year than last. RW got exposed a bit in pass coverage in ‘04; his place is stuffing the run and blitzing the QB. His return at SS can only make the entire secondary better. I think Newman had the ol’ sophomore slump last year and he should play a lot better this season. Signing Henry and Glenn adds much needed experience to this group. I expect the secondary to be close to where they were 2 years ago.

    Punter and kicker? I have no fricken’ idea. What’s the kicker’s name, Billy Cundiff? Whatever.

    In short I don’t imagine that the Cowboys will do much in 2005. They won’t suck but they won’t turn the league on its head either. I think in the end, the combination of offensive line problems coupled with a slow-footed quarterback who is past his prime will keep the win total to about 7 or 8 games this year, regardless of what happens on the defense.
  2. SteveOS

    SteveOS Dedicated to Sports Gaming

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    Closet Cowboy fan. :)
  3. TonyS

    TonyS Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly. I have no idea who plays what for the deadskins and don't care.
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    For the most part I think that was a good read and not a bad take on things.

    Of course I still think some things are slightly off (LB situation) but to be fair they are young unknown guys or rookies at this point (except dat and singleton) so who knows how that will pan out.

    But once again good read and If I have not said so before, welcome to the board. :cool:

    Oh BTW...not that it is a big deal to some, but if McBriar (the punter) continues to improve from last season and this first Pre-season....he could be a valuable member of the team considering the battle of field position. :)
  5. dougonthebench

    dougonthebench Cowboys Forever

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    :hammer: :suxskins:
  6. E-Dog Night

    E-Dog Night New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. Like I said, I don't know much about the LBs. I can't remember them making many plays in recent years. I'll pay a little more attention to see how Ware does this season.

    Anyway, good luck and I wish you guys good health for the season.
  7. Bobo

    Bobo New Member

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    Take a look at my avatar and behold the beheader :chop: hehe

    Well Burnett may not get to make much of a difference this year really. Guess it depends on how much he gets to play and how Al Singleton does in front of him. I don't think it'll be long before Burnett starts over Al, but we'll see.
  8. followthestar

    followthestar Well-Known Member

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    a couple of mistakes or oversights, but overall considering you are not a Cowboys fan, very well-informed and thought out. i must agree with most of your assessment...
    if Allen does indeed get moved to RT, it will be Peterman not Rivera who will fill his spot at LG. Rivera will stay where he is, and he may be the most valuable FA - he should improve the play of the entire unit, and provide a balanced line and attack which was sorely lacking last year.
    also, not to overstate the issue, but we may have found a punter who has Pro Bowl written all over him. greater strength this year has him not just outkicking the coverage unit, but the punt returners as well. we'll see it this year a couple times - opposing punt returners circling and backpeddling trying to track down a spiralling 65-yard in the air punt. will he catch it...? he better, and even if he does Keith Davis will find him...
    thanks for stopping in, again. most of us here agree as well that to make any real noise, bledsoe must protected. the Skins and everyone else can rest assured it will be our intention to run it down their throats.
  9. Outlaw Heroes

    Outlaw Heroes Well-Known Member

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    If you're right about the O-line, you'll likely be right about most other things (including our record). But I fully expect that our O-line will be better than you expect it to be (certainly far better than it showed on Saturday night).
  10. ThornWithin81

    ThornWithin81 Benched

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    Well said, my only difference would be 8 or 9 wins instead of 7 or 8. I'm strongly leaning towards us going 8-8 though.
  11. E-Dog Night

    E-Dog Night New Member

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    Thanks. Yeah, as with most teams, it all comes down to the o-line and quarterback play. And it's no different for the skins. If Ramsey can play this season like he did at the end of last year, the defense sould be able to keep us in enough games to have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. If Ramsey gets pressured and starts making dumb throws all season, then we're looking at another 6-10 record.
  12. el_chevo

    el_chevo El Serrano

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    Good assesment...I too am convinced the 'Boys will win 8 or 9 games.
  13. mullet

    mullet Member

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    I don't mind the evaluation. As a Cowboy fan, I think it is a bit negative and sells things a bit short.
    But, I would like to see this guys take on his redskins, so we could get a view into his bias.... because on paper, the skins don't look too good either.
  14. Gent

    Gent New Member

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    I think there's something a little off with this analysis. Right tackle is the only problem position on the O-line. Last year right tackle and guard were serious problems, but Rivera has cured the guard problem. At RT we still have Vollers (who is better than Tucker), if Rogers doesn't work out. Unless you assume a drop off in performance on the left side, the conclusion should be that the line is better overall this year.

    On a side note, even with the problems at tackle and guard, the O-line was above league average in pass protection last year. Stats for runs to the left were tops in the league. The real problem was runs to the right (bottom of the league). It seems likely that the addition of Rivera and the return of our best blocking TE (Campbell) would improve this situation.

  15. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    not bad e-dog I don't see it much different especially if the o-line does not solidify
  16. E-Dog Night

    E-Dog Night New Member

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    Ok, I'll put something together tomorrow. I'd agree with you, I don't see how the Redskins will be much better than last year. We'll probably be a little better on offense and a little worse on defense. It really all depends on Ramsey.
  17. The30YardSlant

    The30YardSlant Benched

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    We havent had a RT in several years, but we added an All-Pro RG this year. This makes no sense.
  18. AmishCowboy

    AmishCowboy if you ain't first, you're last

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    Unlike the Crybabies at Extremeskins, we welcome your opinion, even if it is somewhat misguided!. :suxskins: :skins: :dissskin:
  19. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I see your points, but I definitely disagree with your take on the O-Line. This unit was god awful in '02...one of the worst I've ever seen. In '03, they weren't very good. In '04 they pass protected well, but the right side of the O-Line couldn't block to save their lives.

    Rivera is an upgrade over Gurode, regardless if he's gimpy or not. The Right Tackle spot should remain the same, which isn't saying much. Center spot should be the same which is good. Allen should be as good as last year. Adams is really the question mark. I think he'll be better than '03, but not as good as '04.

  20. Manster68

    Manster68 Well-Known Member

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    I think that was a very fair assessment, Redskin fan. I also agree though with Yakuza Rich's comments on the offensive line.

    I believe that the 2002 Cowboys offensive line was the worst in NFL history. Now, Dallas is going on three years past that time and has made great strides. Allen, Adams, and Rivera I am very satisfied with. I don't have too much of a problem with Johnson or Gurode at Center. The thought being that it was a hack of a lot better than Gerado DiNapoli.

    That leaves Right Tackle. Too bad Jacob Rogers has an APB for some balls. However, if Dallas doesn't bring in someone from the outside, I say just let Rob Petitti play there and live with the growing pains.

    Oh yeah, Matt McBriar the punter. I hope Parcells just lets him punt away. If he can consistantly bomb that football 50+ yards, then the coverage will be fine (tking in consideration the four gunners Parcells is very happy with).

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