2007 Record: 13-3
Rushing: 17th (109.1)
Passing: 4th (256.6)
Total Offense: 3rd (365.7)
Run Defense: 6th (94.6)
Pass Defense: 13th (213.1)
Total Defense: 9th (307.6)
What was the Cowboys’ best/worst move during the offseason?
If Pacman Jones is reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and manages to stay out of trouble, he will prove to be a bargain for the Cowboys. Given his history since joining the league, however, those are big “ifs”. On the field, Jones is an explosive player and his presence would give Dallas another solid corner to line up opposite Terence Newman as well as boost their return game.
The addition of linebacker Zach Thomas deserves a mention as well. While he may be past his prime and on a decline, the veteran presence he adds to the linebacking corps could prove to be invaluable.
What needs to go right for the Cowboys to succeed this season?
The Cowboys just need to continue doing what got them to 13-3 in 2007, but they have to cap it off by winning in January for a change. As long as this team stays healthy, they should be in the mix in the NFC all the way to the end, but recent playoff failures have to be on the minds of each player and member of the coaching staff. This should be a huge motivational factor for 2008, but could also bring added pressure assuming they make the post-season tournament.
Who can the Cowboys least afford to lose on offense/defense?
The Cowboys are loaded with talent on the offensive side of the ball, but the guy that makes it all work is quarterback Tony Romo. He makes smart decisions with the football, spreads it around to his array of weapons, and uses his mobility to buy time, often turning his scrambling ability into big plays. Behind him is the immobile Brad Johnson, who, if forced into the lineup, just wouldn’t present the same threat to defenses that Romo does.
Defensively, the Cowboys can’t afford to lose DeMarcus Ware, who not only plays the run very well, but spends as much time in opposing teams’ backfields as any linebacker in the league.
Where will the Cowboys finish the 2008 NFL season?
On paper, the Cowboys look as good as any team in the league, and that should translate into a lot of wins again this year. Thirteen wins is tough to duplicate, but I can see Dallas posting a 12-4 season and repeating as division champs as well as making a deep run in the playoffs.