the Cowboys' strong safety outside into man coverage? Forget only four teams rushed for more than 100 yards against that front seven and that no back was able to do so?
Same on offense, the one that finished No. 2 in total yards in 2009, that gained more single-season yards than any team in Cowboys history, that passed for more single-season yards than any team in Cowboys history and that scored at least 21 points in 10 of 16 games.
You guys forgetting what Tony Romo is capable of doing, having thrown for more yards in two of the past three seasons than any quarterback in Cowboys history, a history that includes two Hall of Famers? That he dramatically cut down on his turnovers? Did you forget what Austin did, the 1,320 receiving yards in just 12 starts, the sixth-best single-season mark in club history, with four of those better ones belonging to Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and the other - by 35 yards - belonging to future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens? Did you forget Felix Jones explosiveness or that he averaged 6.0 yards a carry in the final six games, two of those playoff contests? Have you totally forgotten Jason Witten?
Yep, same Cowboys who went 11-5 last year and finally won that elusive playoff game, pounding the Eagles in back-to-back essentially win-or-else games, 24-0 and 34-14. Bet Donovan McNabb remembers.
So to me, when trying to decide just what these Cowboys might become this season, and I realize better than most that one year does not necessarily bleed into the next, employing total amnesia just isn't wise. These guys did not forget how to play football in eight months. They did not age so much that walkers will be needed to get out to the 50-yard line for Sunday night's coin toss.
Come on, all of this talk about the aging offensive line, everyone quick to point out that four of the regular five starters are 31 (three) and 32 (one) years of age. So that means last year when they were racking up all those yards, what with the then 34-year-old Flozell Adams aboard, all five starters were at least 30 years old, an average of 31 years. This year, with Doug Free replacing Flo, the average is 30.2, even younger.
By the way, in 1995, the last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl, the average age of the starting five on the offensive line was 31.4 years of age. I'm just sayin'
If we are trackin' changes from last year, then here you are: Free for Adams, Dez Bryant for Patrick Crayton as the third receiver (for now), David Buehler for Nick Folk/Shawn Suisham, Alan Ball for Ken Hamlin, Sean Lee for Bobby Carpenter, Barry Church for Pat Watkins, Phil Costa for Cory Procter, Josh Brent for Junior Siavii, Robert Brewster for Pat McQuistan, Chris Gronkowski for John Phillips and Brandon Williams for Steve Octavien.
Worries? Don't see many negative tradeoffs there, do you? In fact, more upgrades when looking at pure talent - Dez, Lee, Buehler, Church and Ball - than not. And keep an eye on Free. He just might surprise you.
So let's roll, let's get it on, these Cowboys heading to another 11-5 season, which considering the schedule this year, especially on the road, is a stronger 11-5 than last year's 11-5; another NFC East title and the first trip to an NFC Championship Game in 15 seasons.
I'll be, has it been that long?
Hey, honk if you like the Cowboys this season.