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1/07/2007

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Where Do We Go From Here?

I woke up this morning following last night’s debacle and a very strange thing happened…the sun came up. Alright, so I didn’t actually see the sun, it was overcast and raining, typical Seattle weather for January, but I think I made my point. Life goes on.

The question now becomes, “Where do we go from here?”

Looking back at the Season, there are a lot of positives to build upon.

Despite putting up a poor performance last night, and pretty much all of December; Tony Romo proved that he has what it takes to lead the Cowboys into the future. Recently humbled, he should have a very good Off-Season of both mental and physical preparation ahead of him. Given his late start, he’ll probably never be the next Troy Aikman, but he could become the next Kurt Warner.

I was actually a bit surprised when I heard Al Michaels say that our Offensive Line started all seventeen games together. This often-maligned unit, pierced together from a journeymen Free Agent, a former pro-Bowler, a waiver–wire pick-up and a couple of homegrown players started every single game together without injury! Take away the False Starts and a few Holding Penalties and this crew is actually a pretty solid group of guys. That’s not to say we can’t improve among the Offensive Line, Flozell and Rivera are no Spring chickens, but it is conceivable that these same five guys could be starting together on opening day next year as well.

On Defense we finally started playing the 3-4 instead of learning it. If we decide to keep that Defensive philosophy, next year should see even more improvement. If lets say, Zimmer is gone and the Boys bring in a new Defensive Coordinator who shifts back to the 4-3, we are still looking at a pretty good, and young unit. I personally would favor something of a hybrid between the two where you bring in Gregg Ellis on passing situations to play Defensive End, either in the 4-3 or Nickel formation.

Our First Round Pick, Bobby Carpenter finally stepped up his play by Season’s end. He is big and fast and will surely grow into being an excellent complement to DeMarcus Ware.

It’s the Secondary that leaves a lot to be desired. Outside of Newman, everyone looked a year older and played like it this year, everyone except Patrick Watkins who looked more like big bird chasing rabbits into the Endzone each week. Here’s where I make my pitch for Free Agency. It’s time to bring in some proven experience, not another Fifth Round Draft pick. Is it just me, or does Anthony Henry look like he’s always playing Catch-up? How about moving him to Strong Safety on passing downs and let ole Roy Williams rest his tired little horse collar fingers instead of watching him get beat by 265 pound Tight Ends on every third down play. Let’s get a four-year veteran to play opposite Terrance Newman with both speed and cover skills, then this Secondary will be worth watching again.

Of course the two biggest questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys going into the Off-Season will be, “Is T.O. coming back?” and “Will Bill Parcells retire or be shown the door?” Diplomatic Jerry says there’s no doubt both will return. I guess I’m OK with that, but my dream scenario involves a Draft Day trade involving T.O. and Bill Cowher eventually bringing a sense of excitement to the Dallas sideline that has been sorely missing since Joe Avezzano left town.

Am I upset that the Season is over for my beloved Dallas Cowboys, absolutely. Disappointed would actually describe it best, but as we say every year that we don’t end up clutching the Lombardi Trophy, there’s always next year.

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