2012 NFL Offseason: Dallas Cowboys
August 3, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
Dallas Cowboys (Last Year: 8-8)
2010 NFL Season Preview:
QB Kyle Orton, FB Lawrence Vickers, OT Pat McQuistan, G Nate Livings, G Mackenzy Bernadeau, ILB Dan Connor, CB Brandon Carr, S Brodney Pool.
Early Draft Picks:
CB Morris Claiborne, DE/DT Tyrone Crawford, LB Kyle Wilber, S Matt Johnson, WR/P Danny Coale.
FB Tony Fiammetta, WR Laurent Robinson, TE Martellus Bennett, G Montrae Holland, G Kyle Kosier, G Derrick Dockery, ILB Bradie James, CB Terence Newman, CB Alan Ball, S Abram Elam, P Mat McBriar.
2012 Dallas Cowboys Offense:
This literally is a make-or-break year for Tony Romo. He turned 32 this offseason and will be due $11.5 million in 2013. If he doesn't lead the team deep into the playoffs, Jerry Jones, at the very worst, could spend an early selection on a quarterback to provide competition. It also wouldn't be inconceivable if Jones opted to part ways with Romo if he truly believed that moving in a different direction would give his franchise a better chance to win a Super Bowl.
There's no denying Romo's pure talent; after missing 10 games in 2010 with a broken collar bone, he came back to throw for 4,184 yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He was also clutch in December for a change, maintaining 10-to-1 touchdown-to-pick ratio. However, the concern is his lacking leadership and inability to perform well at the end of games. Something always seems to go wrong. It's a good sign, however, that Romo has skipped his silly, annual offseason golf tournament to focus on football. There was no excuse for Romo to play golf in the spring; if he really wanted to pursue a golf career, he could do so after NFL retirement.
If Romo doesn't step up in 2012 and finally lead the Cowboys to at least the NFC Championship, he won't be able to blame his supporting cast. He has three outstanding targets to throw to. Dez Bryant is a phenomenal talent, but often faded in the second half of games because he wasn't in top shape. Entering his third year, Bryant will have a full offseason for the first time in his career, so he should have a huge 2012 campaign. Meanwhile, Miles Austin-Jones should also improve. The 28-year-old battled hamstring injuries throughout 2011 and consequently caught only 43 passes for 579 yards. He told the media after the season that like Bryant, he wasn't physically prepared to play football after the lockout was lifted. That'll change in 2012.
Romo's favorite target will continue to be close friend Jason Witten. The Pro Bowl tight end posted career-low numbers last year dating back to 2006 (79 catches, 942 yards, five touchdowns), thanks in part to the emergence of receiver Laurent Robinson. Witten won't have to worry about Robinson anymore, given that Robinson chose to destroy his football career by taking the money and running to Jacksonville this offseason.