Immediate Future of the Cowboys: Dallas Morning News vs. ESPN Dallas
If you picked up the Dallas Morning News today, you might have ended up feeling a bit better about our Dallas Cowboys.
Rick Gosselin’s take is that nobody expected more than an 8-8 record from the Cowboys, so we shouldn’t consider them to be underachievers.
For the optimists with a subscription to the DMN, here is Rick Gosselin’s take. “Garrett took an average team into the season, and despite that horrific finish — four losses in the last five games — there are arrows pointing up for 2012.”
Here’s his point:
[T]he Cowboys didn’t overachieve. Nor did they underachieve. Philadelphia underachieved given the expectations. So did San Diego and Tampa Bay. But not the Cowboys.
Garrett took an average team into the season, and despite that horrific finish — four losses in the last five games — there are arrows pointing up for 2012.
First off, the Cowboys needed to get younger. And they did. With an average age of 26.21, this was the youngest roster the Cowboys fielded since 2007 and the youngest starting lineup (26.90) since the mid-1990s. In a salary-cap world, youth is a good thing.
Second, Cowboys director of college and pro scouting Tom Ciskowski was a finalist this off-season for the Indianapolis general manager position. As unappreciated as Ciskowski and his staff may be locally, there is respect around the league for what they have done lately in the area of player procurement.
In the last two drafts, the Cowboys have added Tyron Smith, DeMarco Murray , Sean Lee and Dez Bryant — four potential blue-chip pieces in a championship equation. The Jimmy Johnson Cowboys taught us in the early 1990s you win in this league with blue-chippers.
Ciskowski’s staff also culled the undrafted masses last April and discovered Bailey and center Kevin Kowalski, then this fall claimed fullback Tony Fiammetta off the waiver wire and signed wide receiver Laurent Robinson off the streets. All are keepers, and all will be a year older and a year better in 2012.
Third, the rebuilding started on offense last season. An aging, underachieving, overpaid blocking front that badly needed to be overhauled was. Smith will flip from right tackle to left this fall, and the Cowboys should be set at the blocking edge positions for the next five years.
On the same day, Jean-Jacques Taylor attacked some of the very same points that Gosselin made.
For the pessimists, I present JJT’s take on the Cowboys. “The NFL conference title games showed us the Dallas Cowboys aren’t close to being a championship-caliber team.”
JJT isn’t always my favorite columnist, but when I feel like complaining, I more typically agree with him. Here is his main point:
The NFL conference title games showed us the Dallas Cowboys aren’t close to being a championship-caliber team.
Of course that wouldn’t be so bad if you had confidence the Cowboys could draft the right players, sign the proper free agents or properly evaluate their own talent, considering they signed Gerald Sensabaugh to a five-year deal in December.
All of this means you have no idea when the Cowboys’ era of mediocrity will end since we’re at 15 years and counting.
* * *
Meanwhile, another columnist that I don’t always like, Randy Galloway, wrote a piece that I found compelling. This one focuses on Jerry’s practice of revising history, at least according to Galloway.
Jerry repeatedly counters the critics by saying his same iron hand has been in place for 23 seasons, meaning he was calling the football shots as the Dynasty Days team was built and the Super Bowls followed.
This is not true. Any of us, media-wise, who have covered the Cowboys since 1989, know it was not true. So does anyone who worked for the Cowboys in those days.
There is a lengthy thread at CowboysZone covering Galloway’s piece.