NFC EAST 2016 PREVIEW
September 6th, 2016
Kick off has yet to take place and the news already is not good for the Cowboys. Tony Romo has a broken back, which is not the most accurate diagnosis but for the sake of pre-season drama his spine was snapped in half. This essentially spells the end of the Cowboys season before it begins, not because they lost Romo, but because they don’t have a viable back up QB. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Terrance Williams are all dependent on Romo and and Dak Prescott is not the answer. Ezekiel Elliot will be great behind that O-line, but defenses will put eight in the box, whenever they realize that the Cowboy offense is one-dimensional. It really is a shame because this team was good and primed to make a move.
The defense isn’t anything to write home about but they are an experienced group with playmakers at every level. This team was never about their defense, but now it will be, so it will be interesting to see if Barry Church and Sean Lee can step up and carry this unit until the offense returns to form.
Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris provide depth and an excellent body of work thus far and they aren’t even starting. Both could admirably back up Elliot, and make the most of their touches. Of even more importance they could really slow games down with effective gains on the ground. Look for both to be active players in this offense.
If it isn’t Dak Prescott, it will be who ever the Cowboys sign, and the pickings are slim. The low hanging fruit to replace Romo is Johnny Manziel, but other FAs available that make infinitely more sense are Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, Michael Vick or Christian Ponder – none of these options are even somewhat enticing, so look for the Cowboys to make a trade to roster another QB in the near future. But the world of social media is no doubt rooting for a Johnny Manziel signing and wouldn’t that be great… as TMZ could single handedly stay in business with Johnny Football in the big D.
Zeke Elliot is the real deal, He is having an excellent camp and should be in the top five of everyone’s fantasy cheat sheet. Don’t let the rookie status fool you, as Todd Gurley has debunked all of that. He is a grown man who plays RB, defenses simply want to stop him and could care less how long he’s been in the league. Everyone else on offense loses value thanks to Romo and his 80 year old back.
The Cowboys with no Romo are still going to go 8-8, which shows you how valuable he actually is. The defense will tire mid-way through the 3rd quarter and that is going to cost the Cowboys wins. This division is ultra competitive and Dallas appears to be on the lower half. Next season will be theirs for the taking but this season is going to struggle.