The season is over and this will be the first Sunday post Super Bowl, and I’m already dreading the offseason; however, for the most die hard of die hard fans, the 2013 is just beginning! Let’s take a look at some important dates:
- NFL Combine: Feb. 23-26, 2013
- NFL Free Agency: March 12, 2013
- NFL Draft: April 25-27, 2013
- HOF Inductions: Aug. 3, 2013 (Larry Allen enshrinement, Jerry Jones to present for LA)
So, those are the key dates, and now begins the “silly season” with all the mock draft, trade rumors, and smoke screens leading up to the draft. Last year the Cowboys attempted fill holes on the offensive lineman with mid-tier guys in Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, neither of which looked good. The 0-line burned us. In turn, the Cowboys went heavy on defense for the draft when they moved up to draft Claiborne, followed by Crawford, Wilber, Johnson, and McSurdy. The only two offensive players drafted where Coale and Hannah.
The Cowboys free agency will almost certainly mirror what we did last year, we don’t have much wiggle room to sign more than one “splash” player, so look for the Cowboys to add one high impact player and maybe a few mid-tier guys. That being said, look for the Cowboys to upgrade the offensive side of the ball for the 2013 draft – they better.
If you look at the teams that were in the championship rounds and Super Bowl, they all had solid offensive lines. The Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Falcons have all built their lines through the draft and the results showed it. Looking back at the Cowboys, the 2012 season was an absolute abysmal showing for the offensive line. Tony Romo was running for his life every single game, and forget the running game, it vanished into thin air, never to be a factor. We became a one-dimensional team, which sunk us even more. How many times did DeMarco Murray look frustrated getting blasted in the backfield? We all saw it. Truth is, the Cowboys cannot go into the 2013 with the same group of guys. The draft needs to be the pipeline in building the offensive line. Larry Allen would be embarrassed to play with this group of guys, its not Cowboys football, its not gridiron or intimidating at all.
Outside of LT Tyron Smith, everyone is upgradable, and that’s a sad statement in itself. The line is garbage, it really is, and if its not addressed, I promise you this season will be the same if not worse than 2012, and fan support will be at an all-time low. Doug Free needs the axe, and we need a legit center and another guard, at the MINIMUM. This draft class is exactly what the Cowboys need, its deep with underclassman and seniors, all of which can supply us with solid upgrades. We need a center to spearhead the offensive line, like we had with Stepnoski, and a nasty mauler at the guard or tackle position. The Cowboys have 30-1 odds to make the Super Bowl, and that seemed to be kind, maybe we can inch closer with some improvements.
After the 2011 season, we all knew the secondary was garbage, so 2012 free agency and draft addressed those glaring needs. After the 2012 season ended the glaring need was offensive line, so the 2013 free agency and draft should focus on that, it’s paramount. The upcoming schedule has a lot of good defenses foaming at the mouth right now, and we better be ready.
Jerry, get us some offensive linemen. Can you imagine if Romo had time to throw the ball, and if Murray could run through some lanes? Wow. Could be epic.