SAN ANTONIO, TX
AT&T Stadium is the third largest in the league, so why do we not have the same type of home field advantage as say, Seattle? Is it the stadium layout or are the Seattle fans more raucous?
Nick: I think the Seahawks are just a better football team. This team went 7-1 at home and 6-2 on the road. They were better on the road than the Cowboys were at home and 5-3 really wasn't that bad. Have a better team, and you'll find yourself with a better home-field advantage I think. But I think the Cowboys did much better at home this year. Give their fans some credit. This team lost three games at home to Denver, Philadelphia and Green Bay – a total of six points to three playoff teams.
David: One factor Nick didn't include is that I think Dallas shares a dubious distinction, along with other cities like San Diego and Atlanta, of being a city with a lot of transplants. Of course there are tons of Cowboys fans in the area, but there are also people here from all across the country who prefer to root for their hometown team. It's also a centrally located city with two big airports, making it easy and affordable for opposing fans to visit. You can see that when scores of fans show up for games like last year's Denver and Green Bay games. All that aside, I think you'd see the home field advantage improve drastically if the Cowboys became as good as the Seahawks are.
Is the offensive line really that safe that we shouldn't worry about drafting there early? Doug Free is gone after this year. Ronald Leary has documented issues with his knees, and Brian Waters might not return next season.
Nick:I hear what you're saying but right now, the defense just needs a lot more. No, the offensive line is far from [embedded_ad] perfect but in the early rounds, this team has to get better up front on defense. You can't have the worst defense in franchise history and the worst in the NFL and not address it in the first round. So if there is a good guard available or even a tackle, I think you have to pass, knowing there has to be a defensive linemen, linebacker or safety that can help much more.
David: I pretty much agree with your logic, and that's why I'd be open to the possibility of drafting an offensive lineman. I would absolutely prefer to upgrade the defense with that first pick, or even trade back and acquire some more selections. But if the right defensive lineman or linebacker isn't available, and a surefire, can't miss offensive lineman is sitting there? I'd at least consider it. Three of the five starting offensive linemen – Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary and Travis Frederick – will be 25 or younger when next season starts. Another top-notch offensive lineman could secure that unit for the foreseeable future.