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Dallas Cowboys moves: The fine line between lipstick on an 8-8 pig, or the path to 11-5

Esq-anne-hathaway-catwoman-012411-lgHappy St. Patrick's Day ... Did you know the next Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) is actually Irish? Yeah, me neither. And I really don't care, either.

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Brandon Carr vs. Terence Newman. PLUS
T-New was finished as a top corner. Carr has to be better than T-New, but at least Orlando Scandrick and he has to stay healthier than Mike Jenkins. This is an upgrade, but Brandon Carr is not Prime Time.

Kevin Ogletree/TBD vs. Laurent Robinson. MINUS
Robinson was the team's most reliable route runner and had quickly become a go-to for Tony Romo. He got stupid money from Jacksonville, and he had to take it but this is a loss. Unless Dez Braynt starts to developing into a reliable producer, Robinson's departure creates a serious void that no one on this roster can fill. 

Dan Connor/Bruce Carter vs. Bradie James/Keith Brooking. PLUS
Both James and Brooking had fallen off dramatically, and the Cowboys had to go younger here. Don't expect Connor to make plays. Expect him to just be there and not screw up.
This position is about Sean Lee and the development of second-year player Carter, who basically did nothing his rookie year because he was recovering from an injury.

Nfl_g_poolr_200Brodney Pool vs. Abe Elam. WASH
Elam was signed one season ago to a one-year deal to play safety, and really didn't produce much. Pool (left) was signed to a one-year deal, and his previous numbers suggests he will produce more than Elam. Either way, the safety spot for the Cowboys remains a serious issue.
TBD vs. Martellus Bennett. PLUS
Bennett is a nice, fun, jovial guy and someone whose physical skills suggests he could have been so, so much more. I don't expect him to do much with his new team, the New York Giants.

FB Lawrence Vickers vs. Tony Fiammetta MINUS
Fiametta had developed into a solid lead blocker, and was a nice receiver for Romo out of the backfield. Vickers is a good lead blocker, as Arian Foster knows from running behind him in Houston, but he's not as versatile as Fiammetta.

QB Kyle Orton vs. Jon Kitna WASH
Orton is a solid backup, as was Kitna, who retired. Both were able to make positive plays and win a game or two, but if you are counting on either to win a lot of games you're screwed.

OG Mackenzy Bernadeau vs. TBD  WASH
Depends on whom Bernadeau replaces. The interior of this offensive line is in a major need of an upgrade, and this has the look of trading this OK guy for that OK guy.

OVERALL IMPACT: There appear to upgrades in a lot of these moves, but there remain serious issues: The interior of the offensive line, the development of Dez Bryant, a defensive front seven that is overrated in terms of applying quality pressure, and a secondary that remains suspect.

Are these the types of moves that can make them 11-5, or leave them looking at 8-8 again?

Facebook Mac Engel



I think Kyle Orton was a really good pick up. I keep hoping Romo gets injured again. If he does Orton will come in and play well. He is a border line starter. Not a star but a solid player with some good games in him. If Romo gets injured early in the season look out for Orton to get it done. If not, he is a meaningless pick up.


I'd say Vickers for Fiammetta is more of a WASH. Yeah, Fiammetta has some small amount of receiving skills but also is slightly less reliable with his "mystery illness". Vickers could be better blocker and sure he probably can catch a pass if we really needed him to (which hopefully we won't much with Witten, John Phillips, Felix, Murray, Austin and Dez on the roster.)

Bill P.

I like some of the moves so far but I'm just not convinced its enough to help us get in the playoffs let alone compete for a Super Bowl appearance. I like Romo but Jerry Jones has got to get some help. He is a great owner and whiz at building and promoting but he needs some serious front office help. We have a good team, the best stadium, amazing fan base, but we are just a tiny bit lite on front office help. I'm a Jerry Jones fan I just wish one of our off season moves was getting a serious front office person.

Connie Elliot from Arlington

im all for upgrading our talent but i'd what i really want to see is our stars preform. tony romo and dez bryant need to step up big next year. they are both great super stars but they just dont quite play like it. i'm tired of everybody saying it's jerry jones or this or that. if the stars played liked stars we would be a playoff team. we have a very competitive division but if our guys played liked cowboys we would be their

T.J. Tower

I have to agree with this article completely. Our biggest weaknesses are the O-Line and the D-line. Signing an average Guard is not going to help the O-Line. We did not sign a single person on the D-Line yet, FA isn't over and we do have some space still.

That being said.. there is only a few people out there that would be upgrades on the D-line with the biggest of those names being Kendall Langford of Miami. Langford is the only legitimate 5-tech DE after Calais Campbell. We could have also signed a NT like Aubrayo Franklin.. he will not cost even close to the money people think after his last season and the lack of interest in him last FA.

The problem with what I have said above is that Dallas isn't even interested in these players right now.

They will wait for FA to slow down and scavenge the leftovers and sign average talent like they did last offseason with Kenyon Coleman and resigning our own guys.

We NEED 3-4 D-lineman and there are really only 3 on this team, 2 of them are backups and 1 is playing out of position.

True 3-4 lineman are the key to this defense.

luis b

i have to totally disagree, i dont know much about the guard we signed but this move reminds alot when we signed kyle kosier who has probably been the most reliable guard for last couple of years, his only problem was injuries were starting to catch up to him and so was age, but when he was signed he was also not fairly known, what thing we do know is that the carolina guard has more starts than anyone else other than kosier on the line so im ok with the siginig, as far as fb goes, vickers is a way better blocker than fiammetta, yes he was diffrence maker in opening holes for murray, vickers was opening holes for hillis breakout season in cleveland and last year for foster in houston, that sells it for me

luis b

oh an i forgot, kyle orton was a huge signing, he is far better than kitna and can win more than a couple of games, not as good as romo but better than mcgee, and for the guy that posted that he hopes that romo gets hurt, your crazy, i bet you theres at least 20 teams that would call for his services if jerry would be crazy and stupid to trade him, you need to get off the hate juice and just be roll with your team

VC from Big D

The last sentence in this article summed it up perfectly. This is an 8-8 organization. I love jerry jones but he is an OWNER!!!! and a PROMOTER!!! and a damn fine salesman but he ain't no GM. Make all the changes you want. Without a more traditional organization with a GM we will continue to suck.

Drink Minotaur....taste the beast

this is a good article. i cant believe kitna finally retired nor can i believe he had a career in the nfl.

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