Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Risen Star, Jun 13, 2013.
Notice how the fatal flaw seems the same year after year.
Usually it has been some combination of secodary (CB and/or Safety), LB and OL. There was a period when the skill players also seemed subpar at times in 2008.
Part of the problem is you get stuck with guys because you've signed them to big contracts and you can't change. Or if you want to change it is hard to find the players who are going to improve you at the right price. With the salary structure of the roster there may not be any cash to spend at the position of need. I think this is the position we have caught ourselves in. The area where we have really consistently overspent has been DL(if you count OLBs as DL) and CB. We have usually had one expensive WR and one expensive TE. During much of this stretch we had an expensive OL (Flo: $8M/yr, Bigg: $7M/yr, Colombo $5M/yr, Free $8M/yr, Gurode $5M/yr, Kosier $3M/yr) but it was full of vets who began to really underperform their contracts.
We have now cleared a lot of dead weight and are left with 2 troublesome contracts: Rat and Austin. Both are still manageable this year and Austin still looks okay for 2014 but after that it gets dicey for him.
The biggest key that I hope Jerry has learned is the cap is a zero sum game. The decision to invest in one location is also the decision not to spend elsewhere. If you're not going to spend a lot on a position then you have to constantly be bringing in either young players and coach them up or cigarette butt vets that you think you can get a couple of cheap useful puffs out of before they are done. I like the first strategy in general over the second unless it is a specialist like a 3rd down pass rushing DE from a vet who can only give you 25 plays a game and can't play the run well anymore. Or maybe a LB who can plug the run but can't play the pass can be a bit of a specialist but those guys are harder to hide now.
The solution really has to be a focus on the roster as a whole. We need quality throughout the whole roster. We always have to be integrating in young players to keep balance with the cap and to avoid having a unit collapse on you simultaneously from age. If you are just constantly trying to plug holes in the dyke and put all your energy in the existing holes then you may not be fortifying areas that are about to spring a new leak. So you have to have an attitude of constantly trying to get better and younger everywhere on your roster if you want to be consistently good. You protect your core elite difference makers, especially a QB, a gamebreaking WR, an elite LT, a shutdown CB and a great pass rusher. But the rest of your roster you have to be re-inventing every year with a focus on bringing in competition and looking for youth to promote and also looking for youth that you can extend when contract demands are reasonable and affordable within the framework of the salary cap plan.
This is going to be hard for Jerry who has this tendency to fall in love with his vets. It'll also be hard on him and his tendency not to re-visit contracts until the final year. But he has to change his mindframe on these issues if he wants to be a SB contender. The key is no longer to get a veteran team and take a swing for the fences every so often. The key is to be good enough to make the playoffs year after year. Then once you get in there is so much parity that so long as you enter healthy and playing well you have a chance to get to the final no matter what your seed is. Those 13-3 teams are not the dominant teams of the 80s and 90s that steamrolled everyone else in the playoffs. It just doesn't work that way anymore. Even the 18-0 Pats got send home in 2007/8.
Right now I can the OL and Safety positions full of young potential that looks like it is progressing nicely. This is after several years of failure. I think we finally have a decent mix of players and it has taken some investing of picks to get it done but there are pieces there. We probably will add another OG through the draft next year but there are good players in the mix.
The biggest area of concern right now has to be the age and health of the DL. It is the health of Ware and Rat and it is the age of Ware, Rat and Hatcher that we have to watch. Lissemore looked like he was about to turn the corner last year but was pretty lackluster - some of that may have been due to a bad ankle. He seems like a better fit for this defense with his athleticism so I'm excited to see him. Allegedly Bass has been looking good, too. On the outside Wilber has beefed up to 255 and Crawford has slimmed down to 285 so it'll be interesting to see what they look like this year. We need some of this youth to come through or we'll be spending a lot of picks to shore up this most critical part of the defense. I think Spencer and Rat are goners and that is not easy to absorb in one year. An extension for Hatcher has to be seriously considered if it can be done on cap-friendly terms. Hatcher is turning 31 next month and will be 32 before the start of the next season so I don't think he'll be fielding huge offers and may be afraid of his last foray in FA where he came back to us with his tail tucked between his legs but who knows.
WR, TE, CB, LB and RB all look fairly good for now.
QB is great so long as Romo stays healthy. In 2015 we probably need to look to invest high for a future starter. I wouldn't even mind a developmental guy in the 2014 draft if an interesting one becomes available in the 3rd round or lower. At this point after giving Romo that contract I'm much more interested in protecting him than finding his replacement so any really good OL that drop should continue to be an objective.
That's an awesome sigpic, Zordon.
Another good post. You are on a roll.
Cap management has been biting us for many years now. At some point the markers come in and you cannot borrow or manipulate your way out of it any longer. The other is the draft. If you fall behind the curve it will take some excellent drafts and finding of UDFAs to get you back in the black. Add in a touch of selective FAs infrequently and you have a recipe.
These are the areas where cap manager and GM has to shine. I see a shift in that direction. You must have a constant influx of young and 'cheaper' players and bail from the more expensive and older items on the list when appropriate.
Probably not....when statements like this are made, this forum immediately jumps to the negative side, putting down the team and the Stephen or Jerry.
Instead of trying to discuss reasons why Jones just may be right, it's always the negative.
It's one of the reasons I don't post on here too much, or even read on here much anymore.
Jones is not going to walk around spouting off what the doom and gloom crowd says. What is he suppose to say We have no chance, we can't win? BS Dallas had a lot of issues with a lot of players missing time and we went 8-8 on the season but this team can compete. Will they? only way to find out is playing 16.
I sure as hell would not what the organization telling players, hey why bother we can't win.
If they can stay healthy they absolutely have a chance to win. It will come down to improvement in the o-line and health on defense.
I agree. As bad as the season may have been Dallas was still in the race heading into week 17 of the season. I make no excuses for their season but yes with better health and better play up front they can put themselfs in a position to compete with the top teams.
Sorry I think Dallas can play with teams like the champion Ravens team and have a real shot at beating them. If others feel different that is your view
You sir, are absolutely correct. Can't win with the weak OL, DL that we have. A little better on the DL side, but no proven backups to go with aging starters.
Your football knowledge needs questioning if you have a belief that building a team from the trenches out doesn't win football games. It's the heart and sole of what goes on when the whistle blows. If your OL and DL's get pushed around, like the Cowboys on a regular basis, it affects how the whole team plays mentally and physically. When was the last time the Cowboys were able to consistenly run the footabll? Not since the Super Bowl years. Can't win with a running game rated 31st in the league. You've got to be able to get 3-4 yards on 3rd or 2 yds on 4th down. We can't, and with the same cast of characters back except for our rookie center (all rookies struggle), it will be tough again in 2013.
Question away. It doesn't bother me. Brace yourself, I don't care much about running game efficiency, either, other than short yardage and goal line. And I know why the running game suffered last season, and those conditions were exceptional, so I don't worry about them very much.
As for the trenches stuff, I know it sounds really good. It's compelling, because it's such an obvious metaphor for a strong team, overall. Too bad the theory doesn't hold up.
Wake me up when the teams that have the strongest trenches beat the teams with more effective passing games. Until then, I'll take the franchise QB and the downfield playmakers and the more efficient pass defense, thanks. With the important exception of the OTs and the pass rush, good-enough in the trenches is good enough.
Has nothing to do with sounding good. It's about playing football. It's no game for girls . You can't go out there and let other teams smash mouth you from the 1st play to the last and expect to consistenly win.
I would agree however as bad as the line was we were playing for post season in week 17 of the season with 6 starting defensive player out and others like Ware playing with 1 arm. Not an excuse hell if you take 6 guys off a starting unit and key guys at that like Lee and Carter it is going to hurt your chances of making it.
OL itself seldom saw the same starting unit through out the season yet despite it all we were 1 game from making it to the post season. So now tell me why this team can't win. We played the Ravens at their place and while we did come up short it was a game that went down to the wire.
I don't know how this season will play out but for Jones to claim we can win is as factual as those who claim we can't. no one knows how the season will play out for the Cowboys or any other team out there.
We were 8-8 in 2011 without near as many injuries.
and again last game of the year playing for the NFC East Title. Again not excusing anything not saying some areas do not need to do better if we are to get over the hump but claiming we can is not that far fetched. If some want to claim we have no chance fine that is how they see it but I don't think Jones holding out his expectation are off the mark at all
You can when you pass the ball more effectively than they do, or if you stop their passing game more effectively. There are lots of ways to do that, and being the strongest in the trenches isn't the only one. Or necessarily the best one.
I agree that it's not too far fetched to say the Cowboys could catch lightening in a bottle and make a Super Bowl run. Stranger things have happened.
That's where we disagree as it, by far, is the best way to perform optimally both offensively and defensively. I don't remember too many Super Bowl winners who didn't have an above average offensive line.
Giants winning it would be one them. They got healthy and on a roll at the right time and made it to the SB and won.
Dallas has some very good talent and we have areas that are weakness but then that can be said about the vast majority of the teams in the NFL with strenghts and weakness.