Randoms thoughts, quips, and crazy talk

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by erod, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    For the first time in some time, I'm optimistic about the upcoming seasons. Notice that was plural. Unlike the hodgepodge of recent years past, where we've spliced the roster with aging-veteran hopes and prayers, this team is being built with youth and speed to augment our own seasoned veterans.

    A year ago, this team looked like it needed another offseason, and that 10-6 was possible, but not probably. We got 8-8, but not the kind that speaks of treading water, but rather the kind that says a few more key components and tweaks are needed to make the engine purr.

    This thing looks and sounds like 11-5 in the showroom, but until we can look under the hood soon, I'll reserve judgment there. In the meantime, here's some random quips to consider as we wait these final three weeks until things get revved up.

    1. I think Garrett detractors are short-sighted; they fail to see the failings of personnel management, and how it's hamstrung the coach and the team from realizing its potential. But the biggest reason it is critical to keep Garrett around is Dez Bryant. Imagine throwing an entirely new offense with new terminology at Dez at this point. He's finally getting comfortable, and the team with him. Why would you want to set him back at this point? Stay the general course, for the team's sake, for Dez' sake, for continuity sake.

    2. If the Cowboys play this right during the preseason, the Giants are in trouble. Not only are the Cowboys plenty good enough to beat a rickety Giants roster already, the facelift of the new Kiffin/Marinelli defense and the unpredictable nuances of change in Callahan's playcalling and tempo should be quite the mystery coming opening game. We might be treated to a throrough drubbing that Sunday night. The Giants could serve as the guinea pig for game film on the newly constructed Cowboys.

    3. The influx of new players should make for a much better special teams unit. A lot of athleticism among the new draft picks and free agents. That should help matters greatly on the coverage units.

    4. Every part of my being tells me that Marinelli is going to fix our pressure and turnover problem that we've been mired in since Justin Bieber was a third grader. The man knows how to create chaos on defense, and he sounds sincere when he says he has the talent here he needs. Pinning Ware's and Spencer's ears back on a regular basis can only be good, and our linebackers bleed the philosophy he preaches. I expect a much more active and productive front seven this year. Biggest difference in the team by far, and the top reason I'm more giddy than usual for this season.

    5. Can Callahan create a more effective run game? The new center, a full year's experience with the zone-blocking scheme, a new RB to backup Murray, better health, and Callahan calling the plays....will that change everything overnight? Biggest question I have about this team for sure. It's the difference between 8-8 and 10-6 in itself, and if the defense is better, perhaps even 11-5 or 12-4.

    6. And as it relates to #5, will this line and running game translate into better protection for Romo? He's deadly when given time and good down and distance. Romo is a helluva quarterback, but he's not John Elway, and he can't do this by himself, especially as he gets older. I want to see what a mature Romo does with a real offensive line, running game, and defense.

    7. My pet player is JJ Wilcox. It's just fun to say "JJ Wilcox". It's fun to write "JJ Wilcox". That just sounds like a great football player. Names matter, for some odd reason. Emmitt. Troy. Roger. Herschel. Harvey. Some names are just cool names for a football player. Here's hoping "JJ" becomes a household Cowboys name one day, and the raves I've read on him, there's a bit of a chance of just that. One more time, JJ Wilcox.

    8. I've read that the coaches love Hanna and wanted Escobar because they want to run an offense similar to the Saints. (First it was said New England, but later it was said New Orleans). I think they feel Romo will be a very similar player to Drew Brees as he ages, and it makes sense. Same stature, same body type, same arm, same mobility within the pocket, same heady nature and competitive spirit. They think Hanna could play like David Thomas and Escobar could play like Jimmy Graham. Plus, the Saints don't have a Jason Witten type. Murray and Randle are the Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram. Dunbar is a poor man's Sproles. Dez, Miles, Williams, Harris.....it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

    9. Isn't it awesome not worrying about the kicker? God bless Dan Bailey.

    10. If my optimism turns out to be well-warranted, it will be perhaps more gleeful to watch the malcontents and sudden experts on NFL Network, and the mindless northeastern blowhards have to come to terms with it. Bagging on Romo is fashionable among the Great Unwashed, who know as much about football as I do about the political makeup of Turjikistan. In a league that doesn't require greatness, the Cowboys are well-constructed to succeed if these new cats can play. The NFC is going to be difficult this season, but while the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are riddled with varying questions, the Cowboys seem best prepared to make the biggest stride forward.

    So let's get training camp started already.
  2. jazzcat22

    jazzcat22 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice....I'm ready.....
  3. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    You said plural, as in seasons of hope.

    I suggest since the majority of the defensive line will be turned over next off season, and Dallas will need to rebuild, I'm a little more guarded in this hope.

    I think the team has a shot at being pretty good if health sticks around.

    But more than this season is sketchy for me.

    But nice post, erod.
  4. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    Just about every team is faced with a certain area of rebuilding every year these days. It's the NFL today.

    The good news is we won't be paying heavy money (cap hit, not real money) for a list of players that aren't here anymore, as Jerry constantly seems to do to this team. Garrett has cleaned most of that up.
  5. CowboyGil

    CowboyGil Well-Known Member

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    I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO ready for the season to start!!!
    nice post, BTW.
  6. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Sorry. I have to pick a couple of nits here. Our salary cap is far from "cleaned up."

    Ratliff, Austin, Witten, Ware, Romo all would cost our cap dearly. Add Livings and Free from the O-line, Scandrick too. Now I'm not saying all hope is lost. I am not saying all those listed will be gone next year. I'm not even saying the cap has been mismanaged necessarily. But there will be big cap hits for all those guys when they go. That is really no different than it has been in Dallas since the advent of the salary cap era.

    It was Bigg, Roy11 and Barber when Garrett got here. It's just different names now. Not sure I see that ever changing dramatically. We'll see.
  7. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    I agree that this is a good post. Some sound thinking. Some light-hearted fun. Nothing wrong with that in these slow times. Here's a few follow-ups.

    1) If the biggest reason to keep Garrett around is so that Dez doesn't have to learn a new offense then Garrett has failed miserably. Garrett no doubt would agree. Hey, you bolded it. That means I have to hold you accountable. :)
    2) The Giants don't scare me. Never really have. So how is it that they have never lost in Cowboys Standium. Grrrrrrr!
    3) I like the potential of our athleticism. But its early. Fingers crossed.
    4) I like that we have quality coaches. But I am more excited about our collection of talent than coaches or scheme. A healthy Ratliff, Ware, Carter & Lee would do wonders. Add quality play at safety and it starts getting exciting.
    5) Frederick is my greatest hope for a better running game. That, and frankly it could not possibly get worse.
    6) Very much agree with the bold. Lets give Romo some protection and a running game.
    7) I'm hopeful about Wilcox, Johnson and Hamilton. Somewhere out of that group I hope a playmaker emerges.
    8) Not excited about the 12 anymore than I am any other offensive formation. Absolutely intrigued with Hanna. Not super interested in Escobar. He's a big lumbering novelty until he shows me different. Nothing personal against the guy. Just tired of the 2 TE hype and the pile of wasted picks we've spent chasing it.
    9) Amen on Bailey. Amen !
    10) I absolutely agree there is exciting upside to this team. I'm just going to wait patiently to see if this O-line comes together. Without it, th erun game doesn't work, and all the offensive production falls to Romo once again. I'm confident in Frederick. I just hope that Leary & Costa can push those incumbent Guards HARD, even if they don't beat them out. And enough of the nonsense out at RT. I could see us starting slow on the line so I'll be patient.
  8. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    True, but at least they PLAY for the team. Jerry had half a dozen guys killing our cap that were long gone from Dallas.
  9. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    Players of merit, on 2nd or 3rd contracts will ALWAYS count against the cap they year after they retire/cut. That is simply todays NFL cap management. And they can ONLY count over two years if designated a June 2nd cut. So its not like they have ever or could ever count longer than that.

    You're trying to credit Garrett for something he really hasn't done IMO. That's not a criticism of him either. What Garrett did was pull the plug on guys not worth paying more $ to - Davis, Williams & Barber. Its quite likely most decent HC's would've made that same call. Those guys were done and only got to play on in the NFL at much lower contracts.

    Said another way - if Ratliff, Austin, Witten & Romo saw their play drop dramatically this year or next we'd have all sorts of dead money on our cap or possibly fat cats sitting on our roster undeserving of the $ they'd be getting. Some feel that fits Rat & Austin to a tee right now given their health. Again, that is not to slam Garrett. Rather its life in the NFL. A good FO is diligent about mitigating that risk but its never avoidable altogther IMO.

    Garrett made the right moves on those vets. But it wasn't the dawn of a new day in cap management in Dallas IMO.
  10. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    He rid the team of the Gurodes, Davises, Brookings, Barbers, James, Newmans, etc. Jerry doesn't do that. Garrett saw that this as a rebuilding job and treated it as such. Good on him for it.

    We're not overpaying - in price or term - these days. That's progress.

    Jerry bid against himself to get Roy Williams, then did it again by giving him a huge contract. He did the same thing with Ratliff and others. Such is not happening these days.
  11. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    What teams do and don't do isn't as important as what this team does and doesn't do.

    FA has been a pit of quick sand for Dallas. Either they hire JAGs after the cream of the crop has been taken off the board, or someone not ever to be named goes off on a mission and way overpays for someone who wasn't worth it.

    Drafting is sketchy for any team. This Dallas team in particular, for the same reason FA has it's downside.

    So looking at other teams and suggesting this is league wide doesn't take into consideration we have a record over two decades of missing more than hitting.

    Now multiply that times the number of players that are apt to be leaving, or are so far past their prime staying may be the greater of two evils.

    Hence my position.
  12. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    I think detractors know that Garrett was likely involved in making these same personnel decisions on the offensive side of the ball.
    • I know it's a nice idea to think that he didn't have much say as an OC but that's just not true. If Kiffin and Marinelli can come in, and in 3 months trump the 5th rated player on Dallas' board in their very first draft, it'd be foolish to think that Garrett didn't give his stamp of approval on the offensive players that were taken
    I think detractors see other teams in the league who don't have top QBs and who have much less yet get as many points from their offenses as Dallas. It's not like the mismanaged personell has hurt the ability to actually accumulate yards.....just points.

    The offense last year was abysmal in the first half. 29th in 1st half scoring last season. For the entire time he's been in Dallas, 1st Quarter scoring has been pretty bad. I think Dallas ranks in the bottom 10 of the league in this category for the 6 seasons he has called plays.

    Penalties have gone up over the last 2 years. Dallas was 28th in penalties in 2011 and 30th in 2012. Of course, the last time Dallas wasn't a penalty-prone team, Parcells was coaching. In his time Dallas finished 10th, 10th, 8th, 21st in terms of penalties. Since that time: 28th, 32nd, 29th, 27th, 28th, 30th.

    Last year Dallas was dead last in drives of 10 plays or more.

    Bob Sturm is likely one of the more well respected guys out there and he sums it up pretty well,

    As far as the Dez aspect goes, it's worth noting but you don't make decisions about coaching based on a single player's ability to learn. If the team is better off with a new OC, then you get a new OC. If the offense is more effective but features less Dez, who cares? You might as well be trading in team productivity for individual highlights. This would be a good argument for someone who wants to say that Dez has the highest WR rating in Madden. Other than that it's the definition of "short-sighted"
    erod, PA Cowboy Fan and Chocolate Lab like this.
  13. sureletsrace

    sureletsrace Official CZ Homer

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    I always enjoy reading your posts, erod. I agree with most of what you said, mainly...

    Lets get this season started already!!!
    erod likes this.
  14. Carharris2

    Carharris2 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent well written with good points. I too feel really good this season. Not hoping like past but I fell much more confident.
    erod likes this.
  15. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    All fair, and worthy.

    But wouldn't it be just like Dallas the past 17 years to get rid of Garrett at the exact time he's ready to become a top head coach, and right when the roster starts coming together for years of playoff runs?

    You know, Landry sucked during the early years, too, if you only look at the results.

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