With Wade Phillips gone and Tony Romo back to full health, I think it's reasonable to assume that most Cowboys fans are optimistic coming into the 2011 NFL season. After all, the Eagles aren't THAT amazing. They're just one Mike Vick injury away from being average, so why NOT dream about winning a division title? Why not think about building on the team's success from 2009? Well, the tastefully named Jean-Jacques Taylor says you're living in fantasy land, and that this team is (GASP!) rebuilding.
As of Monday, those of you with delusions of grandeur can stop dreaming about the Dallas Cowboys playing in the Super Bowl.
The playoffs? Nope. Not this season.
Your Dallas Cowboys are in full-fledged rebuilding mode just like the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns.
Jason Garrett removed any doubt about the Cowboys' status Monday when he signed off on cutting center Andre Gurode, a 10-year veteran and five-time Pro Bowl player.
I think it's a real stretch to assume that the Cowboys are starting from scratch just because they cut a big-name lineman. But Taylor isn't done yet!
The Cowboys, as currently constructed, will win six to eight games.
If we're honest, Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago are all much better than Dallas. The New York Giants are slightly better, and none of us will be surprised if St. Louis, Detroit and, maybe, Minnesota surpass the Cowboys by the end of the season.
Okay, I just saw Dallas play Minnesota. Trust me, Minnesota isn't very good. And the idea that teams like Chicago and Atlanta are "much better" than the Cowboys is inherently nuts. This is the NFL. The separation between good teams and bad teams is never all that pronounced. Does Taylor really think it's a fait accompli that the Bears can't end up with a worse record than Dallas? Because it isn't. All of those teams, even the Packers, could disappoint this year. That's just how the NFL works - injuries, bad bounces, surprisingly weak play at certain positions - all of those things can conspire to doom ANY NFL team.
And I don't buy for a second that the Giants are better than this Cowboys outfit. If you think the Cowboys' line is rebuilding, have you seen the human scrap the Giants are using to try and protect Eli Manning? And that's Eli Manning! They're not even protecting anyone special.
I get Taylor's thought process somewhat. He's glad the team is cutting off dead weight in the Garrett era and trying to build something longer lasting. But cutting Andre Gurode and Marion Barber and Roy Williams isn't exactly waving a white flag on 2011. Especially in the case of Roy, whose absence will almost certainly IMPROVE the team, and not ruin it. The Cowboys were horrid last season, and they still have plenty of question marks to address (the secondary comes right to mind), but to say this team is rebuilding? That it has no chance in a division that boasts a limp Giants squad and the Redskins? No, no I don't buy that. And you shouldn't either.
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