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08/03/2011

The Cowboys are a playoff team*

Boley-levels-romo SAN ANTONIO - The Cowboys are going to finish 10-6 and make the the playoffs. Take it Vegas.
A favorable schedule, a coach who doesn't screw around, and host of players who are good enough to make this a legit team again. 

Watching the Cowboys practice in the 72 degree temperature here at the Alamo Dome it hit me this team has plenty of good players who have played well - in the NFL - before, but are coming off either bad or mediocre seasons.

The Cowboys can be something more than just competent and competitive and become a viable NFL threat again, provided if their best players are their best players. Jon Kitna can't be their best player.

Here is a list of guys who need to rebound to their form prior to the 2010 Wade Wreck, and some guys who need to continue to climb for the Cowboys to be above average and win 10 games.

Tony Romo, QB: Duh? He played in 6 games last season. At the time of his season-ending injury, he had thrown for 1,605 yards with 11 TDs and 7 TDs. If the Cowboys are going to win 10 games, he has to be on the field for at least 14 of them.

Miles Austin, WR: Went from 81 rec., 1,320 yards and 11 TDs in '09 to 69 rec., 1,041 yds., and 7 TDs in 2010. Can't call that a huge drop, and you can blame some of the drop on no Romo, but Austin has to be a true No. 1 again. He had some troubles with drops last season, but this guy has demonstrated he has it. He needs to be it again.

Jenkins(1) Mike Jenkins, CB: Suffered a total regression last year. It's no secret he doesn't heart contact, but if he's not going to hit people he must blanket receivers better. The guy who was so good two seasons ago must return.

Terence Newman, CB: I believe in this guy, but he has to stay healthy. If he stays healthy, Rob Ryan has a CB he should not have to over-compensate for schematically. If Newman can't run, this is a problem.

UPDATE: About 10 minutes after I wrote this brilliance, Mr. T New himself pulled up lame after covering a pass pattern. He was holding his man region, i.e. this is likely a groin issue.

Dez Bryant, WR: Hard not to like what he did on the field as a rookie. Everything about his game on the field says he wants it, bad. He can have it, provided he doesn't trip over himself and he stays healthy.

Orlando Scandrick, CB: A case of a player who appeared as if he was going to be a solid nickel player for years to come but has either lost all confidence, or simply is an August star. He either does it now, or this is what he is.

Anthony Spencer, LB: Entered last season as one of the NFL's best at stopping the run, and finished the season as a total enigma. When he's right, he gets off blocks as well as any linebacker in the league. Teams can't run his way. But last season he looked like the high school kid who just didn't care that much.

John Phillips, TE: In training camp last season he was all but set to take Martellus Bennett's spot as the No. 2 TE behind Jason Witten. But Phillips blew out his knee; he's healthy now, and I fully expect him to take over and push Bennett out of town.

DavidBuehler_miss_122510_300 David Buehler, K: Don't care who it is, but the Cowboys must, must, must find a reliable place kicker. Hate kickers all you want, but good teams have good ones. Buehler was 24-of-32 last season. That's not good.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Madden 11

I think the cowboys are headed to the playoffs. Unfortunately, they probably won't make the super bowl.

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