Slowly but surely the new season is approaching. It’s time to take a closer look at what the Cowboys have been up to and whether or not they’ll be one to watch closely with your free NFL football picks in 2012.
Dallas, coming off another disappointing season in 2011, have high hopes again this coming season.
They completely fell apart in the latter stages of last season, losing four of their last five to finish a mediocre 8-8 and outside of the playoff positions
That said, the Cowboys did have a productive offseason. In the draft, they made a deal to move up in the first round in order to take top cornerback Morris Claiborne, who will step in right away and contribute.
Claiborne excelled in two years at LSU, winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award in his sophomore year, while also snatching up the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in the country.
To further beef up that shaky secondary, the Cowboys also went out and got Brandon Carr in free agency, as well as Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick.
Those additions will surely help the defense, but how is the offense looking over in Dallas?
Not bad. Not bad at all. Tony Romo is healthy again and looking good in camp, DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones are set to share time in the backfield (both are highly explosive athletes with breakaway speed) and Miles Austin and Dez Bryant complete what should be a very productive offensive unit in 2012.
In terms of scheduling, the Cowboys will face division opponents and then teams from the AFC North and NFC South. It’s going to be tough. The Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons and Saints are all contenders and some of those other competing teams, like the Panthers for example, are much improved as well.
We’ll see soon enough if the Cowboys did enough this offseason to improve and finally get back to the playoff picture.