During the course of the past few weeks I have checked in with bloggers who cover both the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles. That means that, until now, we have gone the entire off-season without really talking about the NFC East defending champion Dallas Cowboys (and yes, I hate that phrase).
Today, that changes. Dave Halprin of Blogging The Boys, SB Nation's outstanding Cowboys' website, has answered some questions for me. The Q& A is below. Head over to BTB to see my answers to Dave's questions. And play nice.
Big Blue View: Summarize the Cowboys' off-season for us. Biggest additions, biggest subtractions, etc?Blogging The Boys:
The biggest addition to the Cowboys was definitely Dez Bryant
. Dallas was thrilled to get him as late as they did in the first round of the draft. Expect him to see immediate time as the 3rd WR and depending on what they decide, they could use him on special teams in the return game. The biggest subtractions were LT Flozell Adams
and FS Ken Hamlin
. Adams was definitely starting to show his age, watching him play you got the feeling he could breakdown at any moment. And the constant penalties were also a problem. Expect Doug Free
to play LT this year after he filled in well for RT Marc Colombo
last season when Colombo was injured. Ken Hamlin started strong in Dallas but wasn't making many plays recently. Alan Ball
, who has shuttled between corner and safety in Dallas, is the presumptive starter at FS.
Big Blue View: You guys are defending NFC East Champs. With that in mind, do you sense any difference in attitude or expectations heading into this season?
Blogging The Boys: I don't think so. The Cowboys have been talented enough to compete for it all the last few years, they just haven't executed when they really needed to. So the expectations have been very high the last few years even though the team has failed to reach the ultimate goal. Now, with the Super Bowl being played at Cowboys Stadium this year, that may add a little extra incentive.
Big Blue View: The biggest area of concern you have heading into the 2010 season?
Blogging The Boys: It's almost always the offensive line. If the team can't block, then the everything else usually means nothing. The Cowboys have a good offensive line, but it's had some issues in specific areas and we are going to be breaking in a new LT in Doug Free. Given the unknowns about Free as a starter, our problems with short-yardage situations and our vulnerability to well-disguised blitzes - the O-line the area I worry about most.
Big Blue View: Give me a couple of players you will be paying the most attention to once training camp opens in a couple of weeks.Blogging The Boys:
Obviously Dez Bryant, and also Doug Free. Another area that we don't talk about much is kicker, but the Cowboys used David Buehler
only on kickoffs last year. This year, he's going to do the FG/XP kicks too, so we'll see how accurate he is at it. It was a big problem last year because of Nick Folk
's decline, something that cost us momentum and points in various games.
Big Blue View: Your expectations for the Giants heading into the season? Obviously, there have been many changes on defense.Blogging The Boys:
I'm really unsure about the Giants for 2010. The defensive problems you guys had last year caught me by surprise. The G-men still have plenty of talent on offense, so I guess if you get the defensive problems solved you should be back on track.