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Paintrain 04-11-2004 09:45 AM

Demise of the Cowboys?
Interesting take from ESPN Insider:

Dallas losing ground in NFC East
By Darrell Trimble
NFL Insider

When the Dallas Cowboys finished their season with a crushing loss
to the Carolina Panthers, they went into the offseason with $16
million in cap space and a plan to increase the talent level on the
team. But over a month into the process, the Cowboys are a much
weaker on paper.
The Cowboys' biggest areas of need were running back, defensive end,
offensive line and quarterback. And so far little if anything has
been done to make sure those positions will be stronger in 2004.
Granted, when Parcells coaches a team he finds ways to get the most
out of the talent he has at his disposal. Last year wasn't the first
time in his coaching career that he took a team that looked lean on
paper and propelled it into the postseason.

Bill Parcells will need to be patient with QB Drew Henson.
That being said, the team's offseason has been far from successful.
One of the strongest parts of Dallas' squad was the receiving corps.
But one of the major moves Parcells made was to trade Joey Galloway
for Keyshawn Johnson. Given the fact that Galloway disappeared as
the season progressed the move could be considered an upgrade, but
teams usually look to strengthen their weakest joints, not their
strongest ones.
The Cowboys needed help along the defensive line, specifically at
end. Dallas was forced to blitz a lot to generate pressure on the
quarterback. The Cowboys brought in Marcellus Wiley to replace
Ebenezer Ekuban., and Wiley should prove to be a better player. But
he was let go by San Diego because he only had nine sacks in his
last two seasons.
The only other major move the team made was to trade a third-rounder
in 2005 to acquire quarterback Drew Henson. He is no doubt a fine
prospect, but the chances of him contributing next year are slim.
Quincy Carter may have his share of warts, but it's highly doubtful
that a player who hasn't thrown a meaningful pass in
three-and-a-half years could play better than Carter did last
The news has gotten worse for the Cowboys as they just lost
cornerback Mario Edwards and announced that offensive lineman Larry
Allen won't be back next year. Edwards gave up his share of big
plays in 2003, but he is a quality starting corner. He might not be
worth the $18 million the Tampa Bay Bucs gave him, but now there is
a hole that no one on the roster is ready to fill.
Allen suffered through some injuries last season and his performance
slipped, but losing him makes a questionable offensive line just
plain bad. There are significant question marks at every position
along the line except left tackle. Parcells and the Cowboys still
have the draft and June 1 cuts to make the necessary improvements,
but not much talent is expected to be available this summer.
The lack of activity is especially disturbing because the NFC East
is shaping up to be one of the toughest divisions in football. The
Eagles have made major additions after reaching the conference
championship game three straight years. The Giants underachieved but
brought in a new coach and made some key additions. The Washington
Redskins were as active as always and brought in a proven coach to
lead the new recruits.
If the Cowboys don't turn their offseason around, they could finish
at the bottom of the standings.


MTK 04-11-2004 10:40 AM

I'm not buying it, Parcells in year 2 historically had his teams take off. I'm thinking he has plenty of Aces up his sleeve, it's way to early to write off anyone.

skins009 04-11-2004 11:31 AM

I agree, they still have the number 1 defense in the leage, and add WIley to that. I do think there lack of talent at QB is going to hurt them though. Carter sucks, and who knows what Henson can do. THE Eagels are clearly going to be the favorite though.

Gmanc711 04-11-2004 12:00 PM

I do think that both us and the Eagles have the power to beat them twice, but I'm not buying the fact, either, that they will suck. They have a good coach who got them to 10-6 and the playoffs with a weaker team last year. Yes, they havent done much in the offseason, but they still have their 10-6 team with some additions. I think what we are doing and the Eagles just being good, hurt the Cowboys more than they hurt themselves.

saden1 04-11-2004 12:13 PM

From experience we all know bringing new people doesn't always solve problems. So long as their D plays like they have been they will be fine.

Daseal 04-11-2004 02:51 PM

Their D was #1 because most of the teams they played had a >500 winning percentage. Hell, we would had a top 10 defense if we played the Falcons, Browns, Lions, etc.

Ghost 04-11-2004 04:12 PM

It sure would be sweet if Dallas imploded this year, but that scenario would be totally at odds with Parcells' track record. The writer makes some good points but he can't see the forest for the trees ... every team has holes to fill each offseason .... Dallas will be tough as long as Parcells is there, more so if they get one of those top RBs in the draft. The whole NFC East will tough this year, just like the old days except no Cardinals to feast upon.

Carnage 04-11-2004 05:42 PM

The scary thing is that the cowboys are demonstrating a fiscal discipline that has not been present there recently. This means two disturbing things to me:
1. Parcells has an influence in the personel decisions.
2. He is thinking long term.

mizzo skins man 04-11-2004 06:53 PM

I think that it is wishfull thinking to say that the cowgirls won't be, at the very least, as good as they were last year. I'll make sure that I say my prayers every day, So that the Skins can finally get somewhat of a win streak against those guys.

I'm tired of going to Dallas every year, and walk that mile or so back to the parking lot, listening to all those dumb asses flip all of us dedicated skins fans sh#t. It's time to start kicking some ass!

joecrisp 04-11-2004 10:04 PM

It's going to be an absolute war in the NFC East this year, and Dallas is going to be right in the middle of the fray. As long as Parcells is there, you just can't count those guys out. The Cowboys had very suspect talent last season, and still pulled off a 10-6 record. They'll certainly go out and get themselves a talented runningback in the draft, and probably find a couple of overlooked gems in there at other positions. Yes, the Cowboys had the benefit of a weak schedule last year (playing the Redskins twice certainly helped them, didn't it?), but as others have said, Parcells' teams only get better over his first three years as their coach.

So, as much as I hate to say it, Mr. Trimble seems to be underestimating Parcells' consistent ability to improve his teams from year to year over the course of his tenure.

However, it's nice to finally read something from the national media that supports the idea of the Cowboys being "the least in the East"! :thumb:

Has anyone invited Mr. Trimble to join The Warpath? ;)

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