Over the past few seasons there has always seemed to be questions concerning the quarterback position for the Cowboys. Two years ago it was how long would it take for Tony Romo to supplant Drew Bledsoe. Last year it was how long it would take Jerry Jones to sign Romo to a long-term deal. Both answers came somewhere in the middle of the season.
Back in early March, running back was a position of concern. Then suddenly it became a strength.
While there are plenty of question marks about the No. 2 receiver and just how everything else will shake out at the bottom of this position, at least there is no doubt about the team's top pass catcher. Terrell Owens is back and although he'll be 35 at the end of the season, he's showing no signs of slowing down. He set a club record for touchdown catches in a season with 15 last year. And with a new four-year, $34 million contract, the Cowboys are counting on him to again be Romo's go-to receiver.
This position provides an impressive combination of youth, athleticism and a superstar. The latter is Jason Witten, who at age 26 already has four Pro Bowls and is closing in on nearly all of the club's tight-end records.
The Cowboys had three offensive linemen starting in the Pro Bowl last season, but still looming large is how the line struggled against the Giants' heavy pass rush in the playoff loss. Left tackle Flozell Adams was re-signed to a six-year deal and likely will end his career in Dallas. Marc Colombo will anchor the right side once again, while Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis, who made his first Pro Bowl appearance last year, are returning to handle the guard spots. Andre Gurode made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons and should start to get some national attention as one of the NFL's best centers.
The Cowboys didn't make many changes to this position in the offseason. Defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears should resume their starting duties, although Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen will again push for playing time.
There aren't many new faces here, but one who is expected to make a big difference this year is Zach Thomas. The Pampa, Texas, native and former Texas Tech star spent the last 12 years with the Dolphins, racking up seven Pro Bowls along the way. Thomas will pair up with Bradie James as the starters inside, now that Akin Ayodele has been traded to the Dolphins. The Cowboys have quality depth in Bobby Carpenter and Kevin Burnett, a pair of high draft picks who will likely help in the dime package and special teams.
All eyes will be on Adam Jones, who was traded from Tennessee back in late April. The cornerback has never been short on talent, but his off-the-field issues, which led to a one-year suspension from the NFL, are reason for concern.
The Cowboys have two of the NFL's best kickers in punter Mat McBriar and kicker Nick Folk. Both young players made the Pro Bowl in the last two years. Folk surprised everyone with a trip to Hawaii last year as a rookie after making 26-of-31 field goal attempts, none more memorable than his 53-yarder to beat Buffalo in the final seconds of the Week Five game.