The Dallas Cowboys off-season has been spent searching for answers after failing to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Head Coach Jason Garrett returns for his third full season with the Cowboys looking to make the playoffs after handing over the offensive play calling to Bill Callahan. This season is do or die for Garrett to make the playoffs and show improvement under his watch. Cowboys fans are getting restless with only one playoff win in the past 17 years.

Injuries have already depleted the Cowboys front seven and with the addition of Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator the defense is the most glaring issue on the team. Tyrone Crawford is lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles. DeMarcus Ware will anchor the front seven while Morris Claiborne should have an even better season on the corner locking down the right side of the field.

Offensively, the Cowboys will be strong with tweaks to the offense to open up the offense more with the fullback position used less than in previous seasons. Quarterback Tony Romo signed a six-year, $106 million contract and has recommitted to being more vocal in the locker room and having a hand in the offensive game planning week to week.

The running game has been lacking for the Cowboys and have hampered the offense being the dynamic unit it had the potential to be. Felix Jones is gone and the fragile DeMarco Murray returns as starter with Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randall backing him up. The Cowboys averaged a heinous 79 yards per game, 31st out of 32 teams. Drafting Offensive Lineman Travis Frederick helps, but there will need to be more consistency from the running game for the Cowboys.

The schedule is manageable, but dates with the Denver Broncos, twice with the Washington Redskins, and a late season meeting with the Green Bay Packers will be the toughest tests for this Cowboys team.


The defense will let down the offense this season as the Cowboys will struggle to find a running game to alleviate pressure on Romo and the passing game. I don't expect Garrett to coach the Cowboys in 2014.

Record: 8-8, 3rd NFC East