The 2008 campaign for the Dallas Cowboys was one of the all-time greatest let downs in the NFL. Before the season, pretty much every pundit and Cowboy fan had them penciled into at least the NFC Championship game if not the Super Bowl. Then, they actually played the season. Once the games played out, the Cowboys were on the outside of the playoffs looking in. The Super Bowl favorite couldn’t even win their own division. They even faced a one game playoff against the Eagles to make into the playoffs and got destroyed. It was definitely a year to forget in “Big D”. Can the Cowboys turn it around in 2009? If you’re looking for free NFL sports picks, don’t bet on it.
The Good News: According to Dallas, the best news of the off-season wasn’t who they picked up but who they got rid of. Perennial locker room cancer Terrell Owens got shipped out as soon as the season was over. Apparently his absence is supposed to rejuvenate everyone on the team because he was such a distraction. In addition to losing T.O. they picked up Keith Brooking and Igor Olshansky to bolster the defense. They’ll also get a boost to their running game with a healthy Marion Barber and Felix Jones in the backfield.
The Bad News: While the good news is that they got rid of T.O., I’m not buying that this is really going to help the offense as a whole. While T.O. might have been a distraction, the guy could play wide receiver. Who are they going to throw to now that he’s gone? Underachieving Roy Williams or Patrick Crayton? Are they going to rely on tight end Jason Witten? There are a lot of questions about the Cowboys offense that remain.
Besides the offense, the defense has questions of its own. They lost several players along the way that helped make that unit into a pretty good defense over the last few years. Will they be able to plug in inexperienced players and just keep going? That remains to be seen. They’ve also still got one of the weakest head coaches in the league in Wade Phillips. His inability to gain control of the team got thrust onto T.O.’s shoulders last year. Who will be the scapegoat this time around?
Outlook: If you think I’m totally against the Cowboys, I’m not. They’re going to be a pretty decent team this year. They’ve still got “poster boy” Tony Romo at quarterback and they’ve still got several good players. They’ll be able to run the ball better this year, which will offset some of the passing game. However, I just see too many holes all over the team to classify the Cowboys as an elite team just yet. They will probably be around .500 this year and miss the playoffs again. As far as free NFL sports picks go, don’t even think about picking them to go to the Super Bowl this year.