There aren’t a shortage of reasons to be optimistic about the Cowboys in 2012. They’ve got the league’s best defensive player in
5. The ’Boys have some maulers inside.
In my article on why the running game is still important, I noted the Cowboys have not ranked better than 23rd in short-yardage rushing efficiency over the last three years. By converting on even a league-average rate of short-yardage runs, I calculated the ’Boys could score around eight more points per year. In the highly-competitive NFL, that’s some nice extra change.
Whether or not you’re on board with the Cowboys’ signings of guards
4. The window really might be closing.
If Jerry Jones is correct in his assessment that the Cowboys’ window of opportunity is closing, it might be a good thing. Veterans like Romo, Ware, and
But the sand in the proverbial hour glass isn’t finished trickling just yet. Whether or not the Cowboys have a year or a half-decade to make a move with their current roster, the sense of urgency that often begets winning seems to be there.
3. The pass rush will improve.
A couple of months ago, I projected team sacks using a combination of pressures and sack rate. Even if nothing at all changes in Dallas, the defense is in line for more sacks. If the ’Boys pressure the quarterback just as much as they did in 2011, they should record right around 50 sacks this season – eight more than last year.
Ware is going to get his sacks, but the Cowboys are likely to see more sacks from the defensive line and
Now throw in another year in Rob Ryan’s scheme, and you have the recipe for a whole lot of headaches for opposing quarterbacks.
Smith was sensational in his rookie season. I tracked the Cowboys as rushing for 5.43 yards-per-carry behind the youngster, compared to only 3.26 when running behind
As a lean, athletic offensive tackle, Smith should prosper on the left side of the line. Plus, the Cowboys can move Free back to his more natural right tackle position where he can face inferior pass rushers and potentially get more help from Jason Witten.
1. The Cowboys will sport the best secondary they’ve had in over a decade.
Allowing only a 49.4 percent completion rate and 6.47 yards-per-attempt in 2011 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, newly-acquired cornerback
Starting opposite Carr will be rookie
And to cap it off, the Cowboys final have something they haven’t had in years at the cornerback position: depth.