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News: Mosley | More may look like less in 2004

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Bluefin, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Matt Mosley: More may look like less in 2004

    11:28 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 13, 2004


    In last season's post-season discussion with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, he said his team could actually improve in 2004 - and have fewer wins to show for it.


    Parcells' words rang hollow to fans whose expectations for the team had skyrocketed. But as training camp approaches, Parcells' statement seems to be on the money.

    The Cowboys' off-season moves helped solidify the defensive line and receiving corps. And in trading a third-round pick for quarterback Drew Henson, the Cowboys may be positioning themselves for a run at the Super Bowl. It's just not going to happen this season.

    The Redskins and Eagles, in desperate attempts to win now, probably will stunt the Cowboys' growth this season. Last season, Dallas was all but guaranteed two wins against Steve Spurrier's playground team. And the Giants packed it in soon after losing the miracle in the Meadowlands game to the Cowboys in September. Those wins, coupled with an early victory against the Eagles, accounted for the Cowboys' playoff run.

    Good teams, such as New England, and even mediocre teams, such as Miami and Tampa Bay, dominated the Cowboys.

    The Cowboys will struggle to win eight games this season because the Redskins are once again a factor.

    With a coach who has the same pedigree as Bill Parcells and one of the best running backs in the game, the Redskins could become a force in the NFC East. Last year, the Cowboys encountered a Rock Cartwright-driven running game.

    With Joe Gibbs coaching, Clinton Portis running and Mark Brunell throwing, the Redskins already have surpassed the Cowboys as the second-best team in the NFC East. The Redskins' defense, which was ranked 25th in the league last season because it rarely left the field, could improve despite the loss of cornerback Champ Bailey. Former Giants defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, 27, should help the team's anemic pass rush and another former Giants player, linebacker Mike Barrow, should make a big impact.

    And though the Redskins made the biggest splash, the division's top team also had a productive off-season.

    During their three straight trips to the NFC title game, the Eagles have not had a legitimate lead receiver. Since Andy Reid took over in Philadelphia five years ago, the team's No. 1 receivers have averaged just more than five touchdowns per season. Terrell Owens has averaged 10 touchdowns a season during his eight-year career. He's still one of the leagues most explosive receivers.

    The Eagles took the best guard in the draft in Arkansas' Shawn Andrews (6-4, 373) and also added one of the best pass rushers in the game. Despite fighting injuries, Jevon Kearse still had 9 1/2 sacks last season, which happens to be 1 1/2 more than Greg Ellis' career-best total in 2003.

    The Eagles lost Duce Staley in free agency, but Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter should be able to carry the load.

    The Cowboys will try to break in a rookie running back, a rookie right tackle and a cornerback who has started one NFL game. The Cowboys have become a better team in the off-season, but that probably still makes them the third-best team in the division.

    By the time Henson is ready to start in a couple of years, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will be paying for his expensive off-season. And the Cowboys could be challenging for a Super Bowl in 2006.

    Not exactly what Cowboys fans want to hear.
  2. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Prepare for 8-8.
  3. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Yes. The Cowboys might stuggle to win eight.

    But I don't think the Redskins wil be much of a factor in it if they do. They'll be more competitive under Gibbs, but not enough to be steamrolling anyone.

    When Bill made that already much quoted statement, he was wrapping up the year in a press conference. Just as he told his team last year "you never know how long it may take you to get back here again (playoffs), you might play on better teams and not reach this), the quote that "it might be a better team with fewer wins" is nothing but a common sense remark.

    But the remark's been bandied about like a prediction by these folks enthralled by Washington.

    I am sure Parcells Year Two WILL be a better team. That doesn't ensure more wins, but makes the odds pretty good, regardless of what opponents have done.

    The Cowboys don't have anyone on thir schedule they can't beat. Strength of schedule is always misleading at this time of the year, but there is a reason Vegas is murmuring about Dallas. Parcells in Year Two does not take steps backwards.

    Yes, he said "we may have fewer wins", and he means it. But it could happen to him like in 99 with mega injuries, or it could happen because the line doesn't come together, or Jones is a bust, or Carter can't step up. Those factors impact every team.

    It isn't going to happen because Joe Gibbs is in Washington, or TO in Philly. The Dallas team will be steel forged, well prepared, more diversified in offensive and defensive schemes, and highly motivated by the Master. To the man.

    The reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    But keep 'em a' comin!

    They have a nifty way of lulling the enemy to sleep.
  4. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    Regrettably, I agree with him. I think 8-8 is about right. I'll gladly be wrong about this prediction, but I think there's far too many question marks to hope that it'll all come together in '04.

    Shawn Andrews was the best guard? I don't recall him even being considered a possibility as a guard until the eagles said it after they drafted him. IMO, he's a tackle who'll struggle at guard. If Owens doesn't blow up and Kearse doesn't get hurt, I think philly probably wins 12 games or so. Our young talent hasn't caught up to them. Yet.

    Not sure about the redskins passing the Cowboys. I think both teams will be about even. I think it's a big "if" to assume that all of their pieces will fit together in Gibbs' first season. I look for them to be improved, but I'll be surprised if they do much better than 8-8 as well.

    If Dallas is going to be anything more than the squad that barely snuck in the playoffs' back door, Wiley (or somebody) has to invigorate the pass rush (maybe), Q has to be a much better qb than he's been to this point (unlikely), and the re-rebuilt offensive line has to improve dramatically (very unlikely). My guess is Dallas will be mediocre or worse in all 3 of those areas. They're definitely an up and coming team, but not ready to contend, IMO.
  5. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    This sounds like what I was saying yesterday!!!!

    - Mike G.
  6. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Oh you people. :p

    You still don't know Bill Parcells.

    The only thing makes this team 8-8 is catastrophic injuries. Not the fair share of injuries that come with the game, but truly devastating ones.
  7. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    8-8 that is truly funny

    I say 10-6 at least
  8. Jimz31

    Jimz31 The Sarcastic One

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    8-8....with our schedule?

    Who are our 8 losses to? Unless we have some serious letdowns, I don't see it.

    Of COURSE BP is going to set the bar low to the public. He always has done that. Has he EVER predicted a SB run? To the team it is pretty high. Notice Glovers comments and others. They are aiming for the ring. I think BP is telling the team one thing behind the scenes and the public something else.....you know, something that has been going on FOREVER.
  9. aikemirv

    aikemirv Well-Known Member

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    The Redskins have improved on Offense but have digressed on defense - not a good trade in my opinion and history has shown that as well. Will they be a doormat - probably not with Gibbs, but they are not going to finish above 500. At worst we spilt with Washington and Philly and I say we beat the Giants twice - 4-2 in the division.

    Our schedule is not that tough outside the division, so I would be really dissapointed with anything less than 10-6.

    6 wins outside the division - Cleve,Pitt,Detroit,Cinn,Chicago,NO

    4 Losses - Balt, Minn, Seattle, Green Bay - all of which are beatable.

    Coaching is the big diff maker in the NFL and we have one of the best.

    Do you really think he is going to predict a 12 win season?
  10. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    Especially from the best sandbagger in the NFL.
  11. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    I agree with you, I dont think any of the Columnists are ready to go out on a limb and declare a 12 Win Season.

    Pittsburgh is a 2 years removed from winning their division and being a playoff team. They had a disappointing season, but I think they have some talent on that squad.

    Detroit loaded up heavily in the offseason. I still think they will need some time to Gel, but they have some players that can make big plays, but I do think we will win.

    Cincinnatti would have been a playoff team if they had been in the NFC Conference (similar to miami). They may struggle because of the decision to start Carson Palmer. They have a vanilla defense, but do have some playmakers on the squad. It may be a win, but anything can happen.

    New Orleans is a very dangerous team, similar to Minnesota. They have some pretty good players on the squad, and should give our defense all we can handle. I know it was rumored that the team mailed that game in because a playoff berth had been clinchd, but they did beat us.

    Here is my analysis of the season from another post:

    Keep in mind, we were relatively injury free at the skill positions last year.

    Cowboy Debates, gotta love em :).

    - Mike G.
  12. Bluefin

    Bluefin Well-Known Member

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    Gee, let's hang the head coach for telling folks Dallas doesn't have a dynasty to cheer for yet.

    What should have Parcells said?

    No Tuna team has ever regressed in year two, what signs can be point to at present to take on a dour attitude about this season's prospects?

    Depending on what happens, it's possible the Cowboys will take a step back, but it doesn't look likely, IMO.

    And what, the draft picks will be of no help this year?

    A shifty halfback, two offensive linemen, a corner, a blocking tight end and a host of special teams candidates will find no way to have a positive impact on the team?

    In order for the team to improve, do they need to make the Super Bowl this year?

    Not in this fan's opinion.

    Dallas is all but guaranteed a sweep of the Skins regardless whose coaching.

    And every win accounted for the playoff run, with the hot start being very important in getting the team believing in their ability.

    The Patriots went 14-2 and never lost a game at home, only calling them good is a slap in the face.

    Dallas was unable to win there, but it wouldn't have taken much, perhaps a single big play, to make a game of it, IMO.

    Miami and Tampa may have ended up mediocre, but it isn't like they laid eggs playing Dallas.

    The Dolphins laid 40 points on Dallas in Big D on Turkey Day, a mediocre team couldn't do that.

    The only team to venture into Tampa and win without a running game was the Colts and Peyton Manning. Even then, it took an injury to the Bucs nickel defender and a miracle comeback for Indy to pull things out.

    Tampa was hot and cold early in the season, Dallas happened to catch them on a hot week.

    If Dallas struggles to win eight games, I don't expect to be pointing at the Skins as the source of the problem.

    A coach who's been doing what since Jimmy ran him out of the league?

    Gibbs is just going to waltz back in and have no trouble acclimating himself to an entirely different league?

    Can we wait and see how effective Portis is away from Denver's cut blocking line that scares defenses?

    And replacing Bailey isn't going to be easy.

    Wouldn't Griffen still be a Giant if he played up to his potential?

    Is it automatic he will emerge under Greg Blanche?

    I like Barrow, but he's no spring chicken with fresh legs.


    Owens is a great player, but will there be no problems in Reid's spread the ball around WCO?

    And if it wasn't Goodrich or Hawthorne on the field, Dallas held there own covering Owens in the past.


    As already mentioned, Andrews is a tackle playing guard until his natural spot opens up.

    Kearse is a great pass rusher and an ideal fit for Johnson's defense, but his numbers have been in decline since his rookie year.

    He has injury concerns and will have to deal with a motivated Flozell Adams.

    Gee, Mosley forgot to add McNabb and his running ability.

    The Eagles will remain a running team with a committee approach, IMO.

    Do odds not favor the rookie runner making more plays than T-Ham?

    Go tell Torrin Tucker he has no shot at right tackle, Mosley, and see if he agrees.

    Whoever wins the job will be better than last year's duo of young and Vollers. Vollers isn't even in the running to start there this year.

    Again, why does Dallas need to challenge for the Super Bowl this year in order to be better?

    Just winning a playoff game would be an improvement.

    No, it's not.
  13. SALADIN

    SALADIN Jumper

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    Never underestimate the heart of a champion...and Big Bill
  14. Nightshade

    Nightshade Active Member

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    Redskins sucked last year because there Lines were crap. Brunell is an older injury prone guy behind the same O-line that got Ramsey beaten into the turf. Portis was a great back in a Denver Rushing attack that always produces 1000 yard rushers. If Washington picked up Anderson or Orlandis Geary would anybody care? Washington's D line hasn't been improved, unless an injured Brandon Noble scares you they're rushing defense is probably going to be even worse this year than last year. Remember what Hambrick did to them? What do you think JJ's going to do?

    The foreskins scare me? :D rofl


    No, I think Cowboy fans want to hear some good analysis leading to solid conclusions.
  15. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    The fact is we have team in the Cowboys that is flawed and potentially flawed in a great many areas.


    And yes, those areas could end up be strengths before the year is out but at this point they are nothing more than "?"


    Carter? We need a QB that can at least throw as many TDs as he does picks.
    J. Jones? I like the kid but until we see him out on the field who knows?
    Hunter? See above.
    The RT situation? Hopefully someone steps up.
    The pass rush? Are the starting defensive ends good for 10 sacks or 20?
    A.B.? Imagine him having a meltdown in mid-season and what it does to the offense.
    Johnson at center? Like Jones or Hunter, but with even a larger question mark.


    Too many questions and not enough answers to look at anything more than 8-8.
  16. LaTunaNostra

    LaTunaNostra He Made the Difference

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    Can we please, PLEASE get more smilies?

    That quote deserves one of those standing ovation ones. :p
  17. Nightshade

    Nightshade Active Member

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    I really don't see how experience and more weapons can add up to a question mark.

    Unless he gets injured the addition of an RB, better O-line, a possesion WR (Key), and two years under Bill's system, can only make QC better.

    Our RT and Center positions were revolving doors. There is no question that those positions will be better and more stable.

    Wiley or Ekubust. An improved D-line. No question.

    Wrap it all up with two full years under Parcells and an easier schedule and I say bring on TC man, We're ready to go. :cool:
  18. Nightshade

    Nightshade Active Member

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    Ok I'll grant you that RC is a question mark. But let's not forget that Mario Edwards was a target last year. Even when he made good plays like in that second Philly game, the Refs still flagged him for Pass Interference, because he had developed that reputation.

    Donald Mitchell is back and Hunter has more speed/height and showed great improvement at the end of last year.

    With a better Pass Rush, RC might be the biggest positive surprise of the season.

    I'd rather have this Question mark than the negative that Mario personified.
  19. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    If we start the season against Minny, Cleve and Wash at 1-2 and Q has less than 600 passing yards combined along with more picks than TD's... you'll be seeing a lot more than "?".
  20. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    interesting article, lets chat about it

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