5 Ways To Fix Dallas Cowboys
5 Ways To Fix Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are 5-6 and their season appears dead...again. This would make the third straight season the team has failed to make the playoffs and no matter which way you look, Dallas is at a crossroads. The Cowboys have a running back who can’t stay healthy and another one with the same issues backing him up. They’ve got injuries throughout the lineup on defense and they still can’t get stops when they need to. Not that the offense is any better because they have major issues as well. Add it all up and a finish around .500 again this season looks likely.
I think the biggest question is, where do the Cowboys go from here? Their building blocks are in their early 30’s and while that isn’t a huge issue, it does make you think. There was a lot of talk about their “window” to win a Super Bowl but I’m not sure that even matters anymore. Ask yourself this question: Are the Dallas Cowboys close to winning a Super Bowl? In this case, "close" means within the next three years. I know that’s a difficult thing to ask because there are quick turnarounds in the NFL all the time but is that realistic for this team?
The believer in me still says the Cowboys have a run in them but it doesn’t appear likely. This team has shown bits and pieces of rebuilding the past two off-seasons and now it looks like the time may have come to blow most of it up and start over.
A little premature I know but here’s what the Cowboys can do to remake this team and get back to winning form, starting right now.
5. Play Young Players
They need to play their young players. Step right on up, Jeremy Parnell, Cole Beasley, Kyle Wilber, Kevin Kowalski, Dwayne Harris, Tyrone Crawford and David Arkin. Sure, some of these guys have increased their role in the past few weeks but there still needs to be a better commitment to finding out what the young players on the roster can do. When Tyron Smith gets back to playing, the Cowboys should leave Parnell at right tackle and sit Doug Free. The same can be said for the center position; when Kevin Kowalski is ready to go, you put him out there at center. The heck with Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree; keep giving Harris and Beasley more playing time. And I don’t know about any of you but let’s see what Kyle Wilber’s got!
You want to know what you need when you draft, it’s a heck of a lot easier when you’ve seen the young players play.
4. Cut Players
Cut the dead weight on the roster. There are players who have gotten big contract extensions for no reason and they need to be gone. I don’t want to mention any names but Miles Austin, Doug Free and Orlando Scandrick should be shown the door. Oops, I dropped a few names didn’t I? Anyway, cutting these players at the end of the year would open up some cap space and allow the team to be put on notice that no one is safe and you have to earn the your contract. Not just play one good year and then not live up to your end of the deal. Jay Ratliff gets a pass because it doesn’t cost much to keep him next year and I like a slew of healthy bodies on the defensive line.
3. Re-Sign Players
Re-sign some key players. I still ignore those who don’t think Anthony Spencer is worth good money because the guy has been the best defensive player on the Cowboys' roster this year. He’s made more plays than any other player and he needs to be locked up. He’s an animal against the run and has been outstanding as a pass rusher this season. They also need to lock up Mike Jenkins. Cutting Scandrick will leave a void at cornerback and re-signing Jenkins at a lower market price because of his limited playing time this season makes sense. We know he can play and I’m all for giving him slot play the rest of this season and then getting him back in the fold for the future. And do whatever you need to do to lock up Sean Lee. He’s been the heart and soul of the defense when he’s been in the lineup and is a superstar!
2. Change The Offense
Jason Garrett needs to take the off-season to do two things: Re-tool this offense and step back from play calling duties. I’m still one of the fools who believes in Garrett as a head coach but time is running out. He doesn’t have a ton of things he can do to make sure he sticks around but these two are an absolute must. The Cowboys' offense has become boring and predictable. Part of that is because of the offensive line but the other part is having zero creativity. Garrett needs to re-tool the offense and make it more exciting.
He also needs to give up play calling duties during the game. He can still install the offense and have it be his, but someone else needs to call the game.
1. Trade DeMarcus Ware
I know this won’t sit well with Cowboys fans and it would be very hard to let DeMarcus Ware go, but like Hershel Walker years ago, he’s your best trading commodity and this team has plenty of holes to fill. The only way to patch those holes is to get more draft picks. The team gets younger and presumably better. Now they won’t get the huge haul like they got years ago but a mid to late first-round pick from a serious contender and a couple of earlier round draft choices would be ideal. Ware hasn’t wrecked a game plan in a long time and trading him now is the perfect time.
It would be sad to watch Ware go but here is the biggest question: Are you willing to bet the Cowboys will contend for the Super Bowl in three years? Or are you guessing they just don’t have enough talent to get there and will waste the rest of his prime years and get zero for him? The best way to get better in a hurry is through the use of draft picks and Ware is the only big trade chip the Cowboys have. Will Jerry Jones waste those picks? That’s a different story but I do know this, the more chances you get, the better the odds are that you pick the right player. Trading Ware improves those odds.
you can contact and follow Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi