NFL Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys’ 5 Biggest Mistakes of 2013 So Far

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Dallas Cowboys' 5 Biggest Mistakes of 2013, So Far

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have undergone a lot of change since the end of the 2012 NFL season.

2012, was a season that saw the Cowboys fall on hard times, particularly because of injury. In fact, in just the third game of the season, the Cowboys lost starting safety Barry Church to a season-ending Achilles tear.

It wasn’t long before the Cowboys saw the injury bug bite them, again and again, ultimately costing them six starters on defense, including linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter, and defensive linemen Jay Ratliff and Kenyon Coleman.

During the 2012 season, the Cowboys had to turn to no-name guys who were, at best, suited for situational use, and were ultimately forced to try to get starter quality play out of them. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out very good.

Said injuries cost the Cowboys on the field, and also exposed one of their biggest weaknesses; a lack of quality depth. There were times when I’d be watching the Cowboys play and would ask myself, “wait, who’s that guy?” Not to make excuses for the Cowboys, but they were hit hard by injuries, harder than most.

Fast forward to 2013: The Cowboys have a new defensive scheme and coordinator, a new special teams coach, a new assistant offensive line coach, a new receivers coach and a new play caller.

Yes, the Cowboys have undergone a lot of change, but have they actually done enough to improve from 2012? Some would say yes, but I disagree. I think they have changed some of the things that have troubled them in the past, but in the process have failed in the following five areas.

So, come along with me as I attempt to address the Cowboys’ five biggest mistakes of 2013 so far.

Jesus Flores is a Dallas Cowboys writer for Follow him on Twitter @SSgtFlo1 or add him to your network on Google

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Retaining Nate Livings

Matthew Emmons -USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons -USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have had a need for solid offensive guard play for quite some time now. So, I would have figured that they would, at the very least, address that need through the Draft or otherwise. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

Thanks to a fat contract and lack of quality depth, the Cowboys will now be forced to keep Livings on the roster. Given that his knees are shot, the team could try and agree on an injury settlement, but I don’t think that will happen.

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Drafting TE Gavin Escobar

Matthew Emmons -USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons -USA TODAY Sports

Don’t get me wrong, I like that the Cowboys want to run more of the “12” personnel offense, but was drafting Escobar in the second round necessary? I mean, the team already had Jason Witten and James Hanna on the roster, so in my opinion, they should have tried to shore up the offensive line depth with that pick.

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Defensive Line Depth

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are switching to the 4-3 defense and that requires a lot of defensive line depth as opposed to the 3-4, which required depth at linebacker.

However, much like with the offensive line, the Cowboys didn’t address their depth there. Instead the Cowboys are hoping that defensive line coach Rod Marinelli works some miracles with an already depleted line.

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Retaining Jay Ratliff

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Now, I know that I said that the Cowboys lack depth along the offensive line, so saying that Ratliff should be gone may sound ludicrous, but hear me out.

Ratliff has been battling health issues for quite some time now and doesn’t appear to be any healthier this season. Now, and much like Livings, thanks to a fat contract and a lack of quality depth, the Cowboys have to keep Ratliff on the roster.

Ratliff is one of my favorite players and true feel-good story, but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and isn’t getting any younger. There comes a time when players must be let go of, and I think Ratliff’s time has come.

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Not Re-signing Dan Bailey, Yet

Matthew Emmonds USA-TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmonds USA-TODAY Sports

Bailey is one of the most accurate kickers in the league, and could be the Cowboys’ leading scorer in 2013. So why the Cowboys haven’t locked him up is beyond me.

They are already facing being way over the cap next season, so I was expecting them to work out a deal with Bailey, while the team is under the cap this season, that would stash him away for several years. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, yet.