If the Dallas Cowboys fail in 2016, don't forget these three things: Tony Romo's collarbone, PEDs, and purple drank. The aftermath of which leave the Cowboys with a few more question marks heading into the 2016 season.
How will the team perform if Tony Romo misses time?
Dallas has been one of the worst teams in the NFL when it comes to winning without their starting quarterback. A record of 1-13 over the past three seasons without Romo solidifies that truth.
However, Dak Prescott is putting faith back into the backup quarterback position.
In year's past, this team was truly Tony Romo-or-bust. Now? I'm not so sure. Prescott has shown he can at least be a backup who poses a legitimate threat to opposing defenses, in the air and on the ground. He posted near-impeccable stat lines in both of his preseason games thus far. The health of Tony Romo remains important, but it may no longer spell life and death for this team.
Where is the pass rush coming from?
In 2014, when the team lost 26-21 to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round, Aaron Rodgers was hardly touched. He was playing on one leg too, by the way. It was this -- not Dez Bryant's "catch" or DeMarco Murray's fumble -- truly at the heart of the loss.
If the Cowboys hope to take the next step, they must get after the quarterback.
Suspensions are currently killing that idea.
DeMarcus Lawrence -- the team's best threat to apply pressure -- will miss 4 games.
Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain may very well see no snaps this year.
Talent within Dallas' front-seven is thin, and players need to step up. Can newly signed players Benson Mayowa and Cedric Thornton produce? Thornton is already looking like a nice addition. The consistent health of Sean Lee and Tyrone Crawford are also concerns.
It basically seems like Dallas will need some pleasant surprises to truly succeed on the defensive line. Maybe drawing up some more creative blitz packages can alleviate the pressure on the front-four. Situational defense may be the best recipe for success at this point, though.
This unit will have to rely on a repeat of 2014. The defense needs the offense to dominate in time of possession, allowing for timely defensive stands, sacks, and turnovers. Keeping this group fresh will be imperative.
Other than Dez Bryant, who will step up in the passing game?
I'm the most satisfied I have been in years with the Dallas offense, on paper. With that being said, they must be elite through the air in 2016 to compliment their running game.
I have the biggest love/hate relationship with Terrance Williams.
Some games, he plays like a great WR2 with deep threat ability. Then the next week he goes missing without any targets. Drops and inconsistency have held him back from being a reliable number 2.
I love what I'm seeing from Brice Butler so far, and hope to see him grow more with Tony Romo. He already has a nice rapport with Dak Prescott.
Look for this offense to utilize the pass-catching skills of Ezekiel Elliott as well.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
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