Is it time for the Cowboys to rebuild?

Boys-skins2There are very few words which will make a fan cringe, most of them are easy to shake off and forget but there is one word every fan dreads hearing and it is the infamous word rebuild. Any time a franchise takes the “rebuilding” stance, everyone knows it will take years for the team to get back to winning ways. In some cases, a franchise is in a constant state of rebuilding (See Jacksonville Jaguars).

The Cowboys were last a rebuilding project in the late 80’s and turned into the team of the 90’s. Ever since then, Jerry Jones has fought to keep the Cowboys at “status quo” and continue to recapture the winning ways of Jimmy Johnson. At times it has almost worked, but then they would have stretches of mediocrity. They are now stuck in a period of mediocrity and don’t look to be anywhere near capable of changing that.

Luckily for them, the NFC East is the poster child for parody and they had a chance to win the division and make the playoffs as a 9-7 team. Instead they are sitting at home with consecutive 8-8 seasons, and the team doesn’t look to be improving, just staying “as is”. This is why I feel going forward, now would be a good time to look at rebuilding and minimize the damage of the actual rebuilding. There are some quality pieces already in place for the future, but it is time to cut loose of some other pieces and start fresh. Here is a brief breakdown.

Quarterback

The first big change I think they Cowboys need to make is bringing in a new quarterback,  Tony Romo has proven over and over again, he is not capable of winning games that matter. I would like to see the Cowboys draft a quality quarterback and start grooming him for the future, the only real question is can they find that future QB in the draft?

The quarterback is one of the most important positions on a football team and the Cowboys have done very little to keep that status since Troy Aikman left. I am not going to sit here and bash Tony, he has been a very good QB, but at some point you have to say, he isn’t the right man for the job and cut ties. There may be a team out there willing to give some draft picks for him, if so…take it. Otherwise, the Cowboys boys-skins3will not be able move forward.

Offensive line

The Offensive line is by far the place that has the most needs. The Cowboys did good bringing in Tyron Smith in the draft last year, but everything else around the line is horrible. It is time to start wheeling and dealing to try and fix this issue. Because if you can put up a solid O-line, then a quarterback will never be successful here, The Cowboys need to draft some help, but look for additional bodies on the trade market or even free agency.

Running Back

The Cowboys need to bring in a solid back up running back for Demarco Murray, because he has shown throughout his career in college and now the NFL a lack of ability to stay healthy. Demarco is a solid running back, but don’t rely on him to be there every play. Find some running back willing to be a back up and solid spot starter when Murray is injured. And for all things holy, can we please get Felix Jones out of here, this has been a mistake since he was drafted and the only reason he is even still here is because he is a former Razorback.

Receiver

This is one position the Cowboys don’t really need to rebuild at, but they do need to cut ties with Miles Austin and try to find another solid option to line up beside Dez. You can count every good game Austin has had on one hand and it only took one game to fleece Jerry into over paying for a guy who was a number two receiver at best. There are enough interchangeable parts for your lower receivers, but having one more big time receiver to put opposite Bryant will help that position greatly.

Defensive Line

Boys-skinsOnce Again this isn’t a position really needed to tear down and start over, but if you start looking at some of the ages on the line, it is apparent the Cowboys need some youth on the line. The clock is ticking for a lot of these guys and you can’t count on them for more than a couple seasons to be good. It’s time to spend a draft pick here and there starting now and maybe as each guy falls off, there will be someone in his place.

Corner Back/Safety

This is another position everybody points to as having issues, bad draft picks, lousy signings…etc have plagued the secondary into a laughable unit at best. There is some youth and hope for the future, but you can’t sit back and hope for the best, this is where the team needs to keep picking up players and hopefully some of these players will pan out. At this time, there isn’t a shut down corner or feared safety on the roster, and you cannot stop hunting until you have both of those.

Now comes the one piece of the puzzle that needs to change more than anything else.

General Manager

Let’s face it, Jerry Jones is a great businessman, he can turn just about anything into profits. He has done wonders during his time in the NFL to help its profitability and make it a more viable league. But when it comes to making personnel decisions, he is about the dumbest person to walk the earth. Jerry lives with the thought he was the one behind the Cowboys 3 Super Bowl wins, which he was, he paid the players and coach who put together the team.

It became very apparent after Jimmy left, he was the one who drafted, and brought the players in. Jerry even said himself this year; He would have fired himself as General Manager. Well, I think it is time Jerry takes his own advice and fires his GM. Otherwise I would beg Stephen Jones to tie up Jerry, but a gag in his mouth, lock his office door and take over as General Manager.  Unless this change is made, then every other change will be useless because as long as Jerry is making personnel decisions, this team will but anything but successful for the foreseeable future.

Bottom line is changes need to be made if this team hopes to have any chance at long term success and it starts with making those changes now instead of trying to patch together another season with the hope it will work.

Tony Romo: Elite or Just a guy?

There are very few atheletes who are more polarizing in the Dallas media than Tony Romo. Some people will sing his praises and pound the stat sheet until they are blue in the face to convince you that he is a great quarterback. Then there are the media types who will laugh at his stats, and tell you that he is unable to win when it counts. No matter which side of the argument you fall on, both sides make a solid case. So which is it?

Before you can answer that question, you have to look at what he has done this far in his career. Tony has put up some solid numbers, and has been inconsistent since he took over the starting job in 2006. Now you can’t blame the teams inability to win late in the season all on Tony. But as the quarterback, he is looked to be the leader and be the one who will carry the team when nescesarry. Which he has done at times, then other times he looks tottaly inept. Some would say that his “gunslinger” style is to blame, others will just say he isn’t that good.

Since taking over as the Cowboys starter in 2006, Tony Romo has had 14 game winning drives, and 13 fourth quarter comebacks. While having a career record of 47-30 as a starter. Those numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, and will be mis leading to some people. Those numbers don’t tell the story of a “December swoon” that seems to hve happened when it looks like the team is on track for a playoff birth. and once again, you can’t place all the blame on the quarterback. Football is a team sport and will always rely on the help of everyone, over one person. Yes there have been numerous cases where an individual went above and beyond to help their team win…but not every week.

Tony Romo is neither the greatest quarterback to play the game, nor the worst, much like his contemporaries he will fall somwhere in between. Six years into his career as a starting quarterback he has shown the ability to make plays and win games that are spectacular highlights. But he has also had plenty of “oops” moments where every cowboy fan hangs their head in shame. I will leave all of the Cowboys fans with this thought…it could be so much worse. Do any of you remember Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson or  even Drew Bledsoe?

Tony Romo may not be in the same catagory as Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach right now, but everyone needs to remember…those two weren’t great quarterbacks on thier own, They had a  solid team around them at every position and Tony Romo doesn’t have that right now. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinoins on Romo and it will be that way until he retires. While the debate will rage on year after year about his status  as an elite quarterback, I will choose to wait and see where he ends up before I decide which catagory he falls into.

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Another Romo Meltdown

After taking time to digest the atrocity that I witnessed two Sundays ago, I am still in shock of the complete meltdown. Tony Romo should be ashamed of himself for letting this happen again. Unfortuatly for Cowboys fans this happens far too often for comfort.

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How can Tony Romo become a top 5 Qb?

 I was recently asked to start contributing to the website, Dallas Pro Sports and this is my first post with them. I will include a continue reading link after the first paragragh.

On Sunday, Tony Romo showed that he can be as tough as they come while playing through a broken rib and a punctured lung. But there have been a lot of knocks on him as an NFL quarterback over the years since he busted onto the scene. Nobody will dispute that he is one of the more talented quarterbacks in the NFL, but there is always that debate of where he ranks within the echelon of NFL quarterbacks. It is easy to name the top five quarterbacks, and unfortunately Tony Romo wouldn’t land in that group. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Phillip Rivers are the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

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Can Tony Romo be the guy in Dallas?

While there is no fear of a quarterback competition, or any talk of anybody stealing the job from fan favorite Tony Romo. There has been some questions among fans and local media members about him being able to take the team over the top and win a super bowl. Even with good talent and a team that seemed stacked and ready to win it all, he has fallen short multiple times. But even with the questions and concerns from people outside of the franchise, he is still the guy in the number one spot.

John Kitna is in a position in his career that he just wants to sit on the bench and play mop up duty. Meanwhile 3rd stringer Stephen McGee seems to have some of the traits that have lead to winning teams in past years. He is more of a true quarterback type than Tony Romo, but one big problem is that we have never seen him consistently play with the 1st team, or against a 1st team defense. So while he has shown flashes of brilliance in pre-season and in late game fill in duty, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about him.

The one knock on Tony Romo is the fact that he is a “gun slinger” type quarterback and he will play off the cuff throughout the game. But the history in the NFL has shown that this style of quarterback is not going to consistently win anything big. It may be exciting to watch and fun to see what he can do to save a busted play. But unlike some of the other quarterbacks in the history who Tony plays like, he will end up making a costly turnover, or ending a great drive with some of his improvisations.

While the chips are stacked against Romo on ever getting to the Super Bowl and being a champion, he is still the fan favorite and will continue to be as long as he delivers wins on the field. It takes more than a quarterback to win a championship, but you can not even get there unless you have a great leader behind center. One of the biggest knocks on Tony is that he loves to live the playboy celebrity life style. While nothing is wrong with that, it has looked in the past that this lifestyle took precedence over the game. But this off season Tony settled down and got married to a local TV reporter, so maybe he will have a bigger focus on football and he will stay out of the limelight away from the bright lights of Cowboys Stadium.

If I am the Cowboys coaching staff, I would want to get Stephen McGee some quality playing time with the 1st string right now, because with the way Romo plays an injury is just around the corner and I wouldn’t want to be caught with my pants around my ankles again like last season. There is still a chance for Tony Romo to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback, but each passing season makes his chances less and less. While I am starting to lean towards he won’t be a champion, as a fan you can only hope your gut is wrong.  While there is time, I want to see the team start looking at a solid plan B and plan C. But only time will tell what Tony Romo’s fate will be, Super Bowl winning quarterback, or wild gunslinger who couldn’t stay healthy.