5 Areas the Dallas Cowboys Must Improve Upon During Training Camp
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Following a disappointing 8-8 season, which saw the Dallas Cowboys fall flat on their [expletive], you would think that there are more than just five areas in which the Cowboys must improve during training camp.
Truth is, that there are definitely more than just five areas in which the Cowboys must improve, but they have already done a lot to improve the team. Now, they must refine and as head coach Jason Garrett says, “execute.”
They started by letting go of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan whose defensive schemes honestly confused his defense more than they did the opposition and failed to produce the results that the Cowboys expected. To replace Ryan the Cowboys brought in the combination of Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, in hopes that the simplicity of the Tampa Cover 2 will translate to more turnovers and less blown fourth quarter leads.
They followed that move up by using their first round pick on offensive lineman Travis Frederick, who offers the team flexibility up front because he can play center or guard. The Cowboys are hopeful that the addition of Frederick will help solidify that shaky Cowboys offensive line.
Looking at the Cowboys roster from top to bottom they have a bunch of individual talent, but if they want to be successful they have to find a way to play together, build camaraderie and win. At the end of the day that is why these guys play football; to win.
So without further ado, here are five areas that the Cowboys must improve upon during training camp if they want to be successful come Sept. 8, when they host the New York Giants at the newly named AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and of course, if they want to enjoy success the rest of the season.
5. Special Teams
The past two seasons the Cowboys have been horrendous on special teams outside of kicker Dan Bailey. In 2013, under Rich Bisaccia the Cowboys need to prove they can block on kick and punt returns, cover kickoffs and punts, and punt protect.
In a game where field position plays such a big part, the Cowboys cannot afford to lose Chris Jones due to poor punt protection, again.
The Tampa 2 defense’s Modus Operandi is getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers. So far, it appears that the pass rush will be fine because defensive end DeMarcus Ware has been straight taking left tackle Tyron Smith’s lunch money in practice, however this defensive group isn’t particularly known for making plays on the ball.
It’s imperative that this team learns to force turnovers if they are to take that next step toward becoming serious contenders.
The Cowboys are notorious for pre-snap penalties, and that cannot continue to be the case in 2013. It’s hard enough to win football games; it’s even harder when they consistently have to overcome their own mental mistakes.
2. Red Zone Scoring
In 2012, the Cowboys scored eight rushing touchdowns in the red zone; eight. Meanwhile, playoff teams averaged 14 rushing touchdowns in the red zone. You see where I’m going with this?
If there is a mistake made; players must be held accountable. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 10-year veteran quarterback or the undrafted rookie free agent that’s trying to make the team. If head coach Jason Garrett is truly trying to change the culture, it starts with holding his players accountable.