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2009 Season Represents a Change in Philosophy for the Cowboys

Posted: May 05, 2009

We must start out by saying that our thoughts and prayers here at Swampland are with the Dallas Cowboys family after the horrific collapse of their practice facility that injured twelve staff members. The worst news was the lower body paralysis of assistant scout Rich Behm, who remains in the hospital in stable condition. Cowboys’ special teams coach Joe DeCamillis (fractured vertebra) and assistant athletic trainer Greg Gaither (broken leg) have both undergone surgery and are also in stable condition. We wish the best for these men and their families as they recover from this terrible accident. With heavy hearts, we move ahead with our continuing series on our NFL teams after the Draft.

2009 will be a defining season for Wade Phillips and the Dallas organization. To the amazement of many, Jerry Jones decided to keep the embattled head coach, who has never won a Playoff game as the head man of three franchises. Furthermore, the Cowboys haven’t won a Playoff game since 1996, an astounding streak that is second in NFC futility to only the moribund Lions. Under Jones’ ownership, the Dallas plan has always been about star power and appealing to the fan base by putting together a roster full of talented, although flawed, individuals. Recently, it’s been episode after episode of Bright Lights, Big City- Texas-sized football.

That’s why it was very surprising, in a year when Jones is opening up his new football palace, that the team has emphasized team chemistry over individual talent. With no picks on the first day, the Cowboys have to hope that the costly trade for receiver Roy Williams was worth the price. Jerry Jones is banking on the fact that the departures of troubled players like Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson will equal addition by subtraction. The soap opera of Owens clashing with quarterback Tony Romo and others just became too much for the ‘Boys to deal with as they missed the Playoffs last season.

Can the native Texan Williams become the outside threat that Romo needs to succeed? Will the defense get back to causing turnovers and wreaking havoc with Wade Phillips calling the plays for that unit? Will Jones panic with the “better chemistry” roster if the ‘Boys get off to a bad start in his sparkling new Stadium? These will be the questions that define the 2009 season and the direction of the Dallas franchise for the near future. Things are always bigger, even football dramas, in Texas.

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