Pro Football Teams


Dallas Cowboys:

George and Jones look to carry the 'Boys to the playoffs

The Dallas Cowboys are the premiere franchise in all of football. Given the nickname “ America’s team” back in the ’70s they’ve been a team that people either love or hate, but no matter what their feelings, they were always paying attention. The Cowboys have won 10 conference championships and converted half of them into Lombardi Trophies. The Cowboys also fired off six straight NFC East titles from 1991-1996. During the more recent years the Cowboys have found themselves on the wrong side of an aging franchise. The team saw their “big three” of Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin all leave the team in less than stellar fashion. From 1999-2002 the Cowboys only managed to accumulate an 8-8 record once and had three straight 5-11 seasons. In an effort to turn around the fortunes of the team and to once again to get fans to buy Cowboys Tickets, owner Jerry Jones got tired of the losing and hired uber-coach Bill Parcells. Parcells has a history of turning teams around from losing ways and taking them to Super Bowls. In his first season at the helm, Parcells led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth for the first time since 1996. In the playoffs the Cowboys were easily dismissed by the eventual NFC Champion Carolina Panthers with a score of 29-10.

Despite the great success the Cowboys experienced in the 2003 season they still have a great deal of work to do to until the team is considered among the elite teams in the National Football League. Their biggest concern coming into this off-season was trying to get some sort of running game going so they can take the pressure off of young quarterback Quincy Carter. In the draft Dallas elected to trade away their first round pick for future picks. In the second round they did get their running back of the future in Notre Dame’s Julius Jones. The team also solidified their line with the drafting of offensive linemen Jacob Rogers and Stephen Peterman.

In addition to needing help at running back and offensive line the Cowboys desperately needed a big possession receiver that could go over the middle and move the chains. They got that when the front office traded wide receiver Joey Galloway for former Pro Bowler Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson broke into the NFL under Parcells and thrived in his system. The team also needed some help at defensive end and the help came in the form of Marcellus Wiley. Wiley is a sack artist defensive end that the Cowboys haven’t had since Charles Haley was around during the ‘90s championship run. The Cowboys also brought in seasoned veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who also played in New York under Parcells, to challenge the Quincy Carter for the starting position. The team also traded for quarterback Drew Henson and he’s already been dubbed by many Cowboys insiders to be the “quarterback of the future.” The Titans released Eddie George and the Cowboys pounced on the number 17 rusher of all time. The team, in a stunning move, released quarterback Quincy Carter team sources told the press that it was because Carter failed a team administered drug test after being in a drug rehabilitation center over he off-season.

The Cowboys offense has been anything but great in the last couple of seasons. Parcells had shown a track record of playing smash mouth, run the ball down your throat offense but settled for more of a passing attack last year due to the lack of a consistent running game. Carter is a decent young quarterback, and showed signs of maturation during the 2003 season but wasn’t close to the consistency that Parcells is looking for from his quarterback. Rookie tailback Julius Jones and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson should give the Cowboys offense a new look that wont make them look quite as offensive as they did at times last year.

“Big D” may still be the nickname for the Dallas metropolitan area but the moniker can also be placed on the Dallas defense. With Pro Bowlers La’Roi Glover, Roy Williams, Darren Woodson leading the “Big D” teams are happy to get any points on the board. In 2003 the Cowboys defense ranked first overall in the NFL in total defense. The defense help opponents to seven points or under an amazing six times last year.


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