When I sat to write this piece, I had an outline, direction, and vision but a random song played through the speakers. Who’s Gonna Take the Weight? by Gang Starr (RIP Guru) came on and that’s the perfect question about the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming season. If there are any hip hop heads out there that remember this short song know that it contains two verses asking a simple question, and that’s what this article became.
Somehow, the Dallas Cowboys always find the playoffs within reach. Through all the ups and downs of the season, it all comes down a late divisional game with the season on the line, and in two consecutive years the Cowboys dropped the ball. What’s different this season? As a fan I want my Dallas Cowboys playing well into January, but reality tells me to pump my breaks. I forge on and note the fifth ranked scoring offense we possess, I look at the return of stars Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, our improved offensive line, and young pups on the cusp of stardom like Terrance Williams and DeMarco Murray.
Even with statistically the worst defense in football history, we managed a .500 record and still fell a game short of the playoffs. Are our stars enough? Can this offense increase their output to a level that overcomes the defensive insufficiencies?
Can we be the sole controllers of our fate? Now who's gonna take the weight?
What do we know about this defense? We know that our best players from last year’s defense DeMarcus Ware (Denver) and Sean Lee (injury) are gone. Is it fair to expect anyone in the secondary to raise their game higher than they have shown in previous seasons? To be fair Barry Church play was solid. Solid, but not spectacular, don’t get it twisted in a perfect world we’d have Church at the strong safety and a ball hawking safety roaming deep, but our roster is what it is. Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, and Morris Claiborne look like a better than average trio on paper…on paper. Maybe it was the lack of pass rush that simply exposed our secondary.
That pass rush. George Selvie (7 sacks) did what he always does and I expect a continuance of his pass rushing prowess, the questions come in on Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer. Both Melton and Spencer produced at high levels in the league in the past but both are coming off injuries, so who really knows what to expect. With his statement that [the Cowboys have the]
“.. key components key components to really get it done on defense.
Melton assumed the role as the vocal leader for the defense. OK now we need some production on the field because with Lee missing the knowledge in the middle of the defense is missing. Physical talent isn’t the problem with the linebackers on the team, it is the mental game. Lee was in the right place all of the time and that is the first necessity of making a big play, knowing where to be. Knowing responsibilities of your eleven and processing what the offense throws at you fast enough to counter. First up to fill Lee’s spot will be Justin Durant, not a bad choice physically, but can he get the mental aspects together?
So let me ask you, is it too late? Ayo, who's gonna take the weight?
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