NFL Dallas Cowboys

5 Irreplaceable Players for Dallas Cowboys During the 2013 NFL Season

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Dallas Cowboys' Top 5 Most Irreplaceable Players During the 2013 NFL Season

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will look to rebound after a disappointing 2012 NFL season, and they will rely heavily on several of their perennial stars.

Finishing the regular season with a record of 8-8, the Cowboys lost their final game of the season to the Washington Redskins. A win would have clinched a playoff spot, but the Cowboys went home early and dissatisfied.

Several Cowboys had standout seasons for the team including some breakout beasts as well as constant cornerstones.

The Cowboys’ 2011 first round draft pick, Tyron Smith, has done a good job in his first two seasons. Smith started at right tackle but then switched to left tackle last season to guard the blindside. He has limited defensive penetration well but still has some room to improve in terms of quickness and his ability to slow down some of the best defensive ends in the NFL. Smith is an important piece to the puzzle, but is not irreplaceable.

Another player to watch in the 2013 season is Miles Austin. The veteran wide receiver struggled in 2011 as a result of injuries, playing in only 10 games. Austin had a much better 2012 season, playing in all 16 games and finishing just shy of 1,000 yards receiving. With a very talented receiving corps, Austin is not matchless, but will play a necessary role if the Cowboys are to make the playoffs.

So the question remains, who do the Cowboys most need for this upcoming season? The answer is certainly not newly-signed quarterback Kyle Orton, but you can rest assured there will be one quarterback on my list. Before I start the list, I give you an honorable mention.

As pictured above, DeMarcus Ware is the cornerstone of the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive squad, and they desperately need Ware to rebound from a rocky 2012 season. My fellow writer at, Jake Carapella, did a great job in highlighting Ware’s injury struggles in this article. He also reports that Ware claims that his injured shoulder is almost back to 100 percent. The Cowboys will need him to return to his dominant pass rushing ways.

Now for the top five list.

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+. You can see all of his articles here.

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No. 5: DeMarco Murray – RB

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The young running back from Las Vegas burst onto the scene in 2011 with a breakout year. The Cowboys expected DeMarco Murray to continue running through defensive lines and backfields in 2012. And he did, at least, whenever he was not injured. The Cowboys have waited patiently for a superstar running back ever since Emmitt Smith retired, and Murray has the potential to be that star. If he can remain healthy in 2013, he can be one of the best running backs in the league. The Cowboys must have Murray on the field in order to make a deep run into the postseason.

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No. 4: Morris Claiborne – CB

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The Cowboys went out of their way in the 2012 NFL Draft to trade up to the No. 6 overall spot to get Morris Claiborne, the standout cornerback out of LSU. Claiborne was meant to shore up the weakest part of the Dallas defense, its backfield. Claiborne managed to do a good job in his rookie season and will look to continue as the most important defensive back. The Cowboys need him to shut down the best wide receivers they will face in order for the team to succeed.

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No. 3: Dez Bryant – WR

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Another recent breakout star for the Cowboys has been wide receiver Dez Bryant. In his first three seasons with the Cowboys, Bryant has accumulated almost 3,000 yards and almost 30 touchdowns. Bryant did a majority of that damage in the last season and he will look to improve in 2013. Bryant is one of the up and coming stars in the NFL and is most certainly indispensable.

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No. 2: Tony Romo – QB

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Some of you may scoff at Tony Romo not being placed at the top of this list, but the Cowboys’ veteran quarterback is not the most important person on the team. Yes, Romo is known as one of the elite NFL quarterbacks and posts terrific numbers on a yearly basis. However, the only reason I put Romo this high on the list is because of his massive contract.

In June of 2013, the Cowboys signed Romo to a $108 million, six-year contract extension. If Jerry Jones tried to replace Romo now, it would take a miracle. Romo is great, but there are very few teams in the league who would be willing and/or able to pick up that large of a contract. The Cowboys need to keep Romo and his not-so-clutch playoff performances for financial reasons. Here’s hoping he can turn things around and prove me wrong!

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No. 1: Jason Witten – TE

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You may be surprised to see a tight end in the No. 1 spot for most irreplaceable Dallas Cowboys player. If you have seen Jason Witten play, you might not be surprised. From dragging defenders along for a ride after a catch to the catch where he got hit, lost his helmet and then proceeded to keep running, Witten is a man among boys.

The 31-year-old from Tennessee has been one of the offensive staples in the Cowboys’ arsenal for a decade. Averaging almost 900 yards per season, Witten is the glue to an offensive unit that is often inconsistent. When Romo needs a first down, Witten is his go-to target. Witten will need to continue to be a rock for the Cowboys who cannot go anywhere in the league to find someone to replace him.