Five Dallas Cowboys’ players that must breakout in 2013
Other than the probable firing of Jason Garrett after 2013, this does feel like this is the Dallas Cowboys’ year, and by year, I mean Playoffs. The offense has the weapons led by Tony Romo, and the defense under Monte Kiffin might finally click on all cylinders. However, every Playoff season has players that step up from the shadows to help lead the team to the light, but who are these mystery players who can breakout in 2013? Find out, as we find the five Dallas Cowboys’ players that must breakout in 2013.
5. Doug Free
Free should be one of the most obvious. The Cowboys finally had him agree to restructure his contract, but Free has to play better. Especially in run blocking, because Free is sometimes non-existent in the run game. If Free can help revive a running game in Dallas, than the offense will be almost complete. Otherwise Romo will once again run around like a chicken with his head off, because Romo will be only way to score points.
4. Brandon Carr
Carr one year removed from signing his 50.1 million dollar contract has obvious reasons to play better too. Morris Claiborne and Carr can be the envy of the NFL as far as a cornerback tandem goes, but it’s all on Carr. The good news is that Carr will be playing in a defense crafted by a legend in Monte Kiffin that could have a huge impact on how Carr performs. In fact, Carr stated about the new defensive scheme “It allows me to be the corner that I want to be.” Playing in a defense that he believes in will do wonders for Carr in 2013. If he shows the flashes the Cowboys saw when they signed him in 2012, then he’ll be one of the most integral pieces on defense.
3. Bruce Carter
Before Carter dislocated his elbow in 2012, he was emerging as a superstar on the Cowboys’ defense. However, this new scheme under Monte Kiffin could elevate him even higher. Carter’s pure speed is a perfect fit in the Tampa 2 defense, and he’s being compared to Derrick Brooks. The only difference between Carter and Brooks is Brooks can stay healthy. Brooks has a record for most consecutive starts by a NFL linebacker at one position with 208. I just don’t know with Carter’s injury history if that’s possible, but Carter has to stay healthy to keep this defense on track.
DeMarco Murray has the talent, but can’t stay healthy. He says this is the year he can stay healthy, but if you can’t get through OTA’s without pulling something can you trust him. The major problem is Murray is the only way to keep a balanced offense for the Cowboys. His skills compensated for a lackluster offensive line the last two seasons, but that line isn’t going to do favors for Murray’s backups. Murray has to have a complete season and it’s possible, but at this point it’s a nice dream to have.
Frederick isn’t the likely choice to be number one on this list, but the critics will destroy Frederick if he doesn’t live up to his first-round billing. It doesn’t help that the Cowboys draft board was revealed, showing Frederick was a second-round grade by the Cowboys. Frederick will be asked to take over the Center spot and play well. Well enough to fix the Cowboys’ offensive line woes is wishful thinking, but that’s what is expected of him. If Frederick can help get the Cowboys’ line to open up better holes and keep Romo upright, then it should be enough to get the Cowboys to the Playoffs based on their 2012 performance.
The Cowboys are so close to getting back to the Playoffs. If the five players mentioned above step up in 2013, there is not a lot of scenarios where the Boys don’t get in. One can only hope that injuries don’t pop up again and if they don’t, watch out NFL. This could be the year that will silence the critics.
James Cobern is a NFC East Division Leader for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com or follow him on Twitter @Jmcobern1