America’s Team has been known to fight through a mediocre regular season before losing the division the last weeks of the season the last three years; not a good stigma to have. Seriously, the Cowboys have lost win-and-you’re-in regular season finales to the eventual division winner in Week 17 each of the last three years--Giants in 2011, Redskins in 2012, and Eagles in 2013. The Cowboys actually won in Week 16 last year to force that showdown with Philly. Kyle Orton was okay in relief of an injured Tony Romo for that one, but came out and threw a huge interception at the end of the game, taking a staple out of Romo’s playbook. Another gut-wrenching loss to keep Dallas out of the postseason for the fourth straight year. For all the criticism Romo gets, the defense was definitely the culprit last year. They were 27th against the run and last against the pass, allowing 27 points per game and not forcing enough sacks. Losing sack leader Jason Hatcher (11 sacks) to division rival Washington doesn’t help either. Times are a-changin’ in Arlington. Longtime star DeMarcus Ware was cut this spring, signing on with Denver. Former star WR Miles Austin was cut too, signing with Cleveland with his best days behind him. The only notable free agent moves the team made were Bears DT Henry Melton, which somewhat offsets Hatcher, and Browns flameout QB Brandon Weeden.
The clock is ticking on the Tony Romo era, and it seems no major organizational moves will be made until it ends. As infuriating as it is to Cowboys fans, owner Jerry Jones is still the GM. He did make the sensible move in passing over Johnny Manziel in the draft though. They took Notre Dame OT Zack Martin in the first round, one of the safest picks of the entire round. Then they went defensive with seven of the next eight picks, including Boise State DE Demarcus Lawrence and Iowa LB Anthony Hitchens who could both see playing time quickly. The fact is that they have much more firepower on offense so the defensive picks were a smart move. Behind DeMarco Murray (1,121 yards, 9 TDs), Dez Bryant (93 rec, 1,233 rec yards, 13 TDs) and Jason Witten (73 rec, 851 rec yards, 8 TDs), it’s surprising the Cowboys don’t finish near the top of the pack in yardage categories. They’ve overlooked depth--they don’t have a true #2 to Murray--for a few years now though. Still, things are going good when you’re 5th in the NFL in scoring. Tough home games include San Francisco, New Orleans, and Indy. Gold Coast Tickets wants you to get out to AT&T Stadium to root on the Cowboys this fall!