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.

Know Your Dallas CowboysFor 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.

Know Your Dallas CowboysFor 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.

  • Young Fan

    My understanding is that the Sensabaugh deal is more like 2 yrs/8 million, which sounds about right for an average safety. In fact I think it was Bryan Broaddus, one of JJT’s co-workers, who pointed this out. Of course ‘journalism’ has long been closer to entertainment, and it doesn’t really matter if your information is correct or used correctly.

    For all the claptrap about how “far away” the Cowboys are from those teams, it’s not like they all don’t have very big holes in their rosters. It’s also funny to think about when you consider that if Victor Cruz’ fumble against the Cardinals is ruled correctly, then they likely lose that game – and the Eagles would’ve won the division.

  • Hedgeman1

    I say we trade Dez Bryant for a couple of above average players. Robinson seems to be way better at running routes and getting open!

  • Anonymous

    Good points. And for that matter, if Miles Austin had been able to run under Romo’s pass late in the first game, this was a playoff team (realizing that many other plays could have led to a similar result). 

  • Just the facts

    JJ Taylor lost his job at DMN for a reason: he is a horrible writer with an agenda other than reporting and giving his opinion. In JJ’s world, the team has done NOTHING right since Jimmy Johnson left.

  • Hedgeman1

    I agree wholeheartidly! He sucks!

  • Sam

    JJ as President and GM is the problem. The solution is to “fire” him by “NOT” purchasing season tickets. No more corn in JJ pocket! Send a resounding message.

  • Mkersey74

    dude you dont know what your taliking about dez is young and will make big plays for years to come the reson he didnt get as many tds. is that he was double covered 80% of the time thats how everybody else gets a chance to make a play hes a deep threat at all stages of the game if it wasnt for him miles or laront wouldnt have made the plays they did.wow do you even watch the games or do you just like to hear yourself talk.if you wanna trade sombody get rid of the secondary there all over paid and they sux  who blows a twenty point lead in a game in there secondary we do newman is washed up ball sux sensabal cant cover dez is the fire on the team when he gets goin the rest follow. hes a leader and gets yards after the catch.nuff said you dont know what your talking about so take your medioker players somwhere else cause us real fans know what an asset dez is to the team!

  • Cowboy Killer

    Maybe true.. but Dallas would have gotten killed in the playoffs. I give the Dallas credit for being healthy. They never seem to have a lot of people injured. The Giants are not such a HOT TEAM now.. but HEALTHY. When you have 5 safties and 2 LB’s on IR since Aug that is hard to over come. Osi played half the season. Tuck was banged up or did not play for 12 weeks. Which 7 defensive players on Dallas would you have out? BTW regarding DEZ…. Victor Cruz is in his 2nd year. Nicks is in his 3rd… Dez would not start on the Giants. Dallas is so far away from being in the playoffs its funny to see you all post. Regards