Saturday, September 11, 2010

Football ERA 2010 NFC East Preview: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys
Author: SHAQ for The Football ERA

 Most analysts have the Dallas Cowboys as the division winner in the NFC East if not winning the conference outright and having Jerry Jones host his team in the first home SuperbowlThe Cowboys  are, indeed, very good on paper--but then, afterall--that's why they play the games.   As unpredictable as the NFC East looks going into the season, most experts still agree that the Cowboys have the best looking defense coming off  their performance from last season.  But in such a competitive division, no  matter how good the teams in the division look going into the season, each team has its  own respective weaknesses.

Being healthy contributed greatly to the success Dallas  faired last year, and should they be as fortunate in 2010, they will go a  long way in contending for the NFC East title.  They are definitely the  favorites going into the season to win the division.  They are returning nearly almost all  their  starters and their bench.  And with the exception of OL Cory Proctor (who  went to camp with the Dolphins), the Cowboys only lost LT Flozell Adams, who eventually signed with Pittsburgh.  His replacement, T Doug Free, gained valuable game experience when he substituted in for Marc Columbo when Columbo was out of the lineup down the stretch late last season.  Dallas will start him at Left Tackle in 2010, and many analysts are watching to see how he fairs at that difficult position.

   While the Cowboys believe that Free is ready to step into that role--their concern might be a  more important factor to their success--- how well their front lines on both  sides of the ball stand up to the rigors of the long season.  The  backups may not have the ideal experience to step in immediately without  the team missing a beat.  But should the Cowboys experience any  adversity at any point, their depth will be tested.  One of the keys to  their success on defense has been the outstanding play from Nose  Tackle Jay Ratliff who has maintained a much lower profile than DeMarcus Ware or even Marcus Spears--his counterpart on the defensive line along with DE Igor Olshansky

    If all their guys on the fronts perform up to expectations and stay  healthy, then Dallas will almost certainly be a team in contention for  not only just the lead in the NFC East, but for the  conference title as well---possibly going deep into the playoffs.

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