There's a school of thought that maintains the Cowboys' offseason plan was put into place to beat the Giants.
It makes sense. Adding cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne gives the Cowboys a couple of players to stick on Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz in hopes of making it more difficult for Eli Manning to slice and dice the Cowboys defense.
Signing two veteran interior offensive linemen and moving Tyron Smith also fits with the idea that stopping the Giants is the operating principle for the Cowboys. The Giants pass rush is the key to their entire defensive scheme and keeping those rushers off of Tony Romo would allow the Cowboys to pick apart the suspect secondary of the Super Bowl champs.
Like we said, it all makes sense. Except that there's a whole other way to spin the offensive moves that has nothing to do with the Giants and everything to do with DeMarco Murray.
Whether it was because of Murray's absence at the end of last season or the injury/Dez Bryant shenanigans/eternally useless discussions of Tony Romo, Murray's been more or less ignored this offseason. Well, ignored by everyone who wasn't making personnel decisions for the Cowboys anyway.
Dallas obviously hopes that Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau will provide Romo with more time in the pocket this season, but their arrival should also allow for an upgrade in run blocking. Throw in new fullback Lawrence Vickers and you've got a cast list that should be making a lot more holes than Murray ran through on his way to all of those records last season.
Most telling of all was the team's total refusal to even try for a third receiver better than Kevin Ogletree. We get it, the Cowboys believe in the guys they have. They've told us that for years. It still makes a lot more sense if you view it through the prism of the Cowboys' belief that Murray is worth building an offense around.
The most sensible thing that Romo detractors have ever come up with is that he's prone to making mistakes when he's asked to do too much. Boosting Murray gives the team a way to avoid putting him in that position.
And it's not a bad way to go about beating the Giants either.