ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 21: Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys scores against Chris Houston #23 of the Detroit Lions at Cowboys Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dez Bryant;Chris Houston
Presumably, no team in the NFL wants a lockout. That probably goes without saying.
All 32 teams will suffer if the NFL has its first work stoppage since 1987 for any number of reasons, the greatest of which is probably that their offseason programs—which are now a crucial and carefully thought out aspect of a team’s preparation, and which occupy most of what we call the offseason--will be, at least to some degree, nixed.
But of any team, your Dallas Cowboys are a good candidate for the team who could suffer the most.
Take Dez Bryant. The young receiver, coming off a rookie season in which he caught 45 passes for 561 yards and six touchdowns, is also coming off an injury; what’s more, he is currently in a crucial stage of development. A lockout would only hinder this development, and make contact with strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, who would be charged with overseeing his recovery from a fractured ankle, forbidden.
Take the other members of the Cowboys 2010 draft class—aside from Bryant, Dallas also likes what they see from inside linebacker Sean Lee, safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, who was slowed by injury last season, and cornerback Bryan McCann—which brings us to our next point: the new defense.
Rob Ryan was hired last month as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, and brings with him a new style of the 3-4 defense, complete with a slew of new and exotic blitz schemes. In the case of a lockout, of however long, Ryan will be hindered in installing this defense, the players in learning it.
Ryan is just one member of a completely revamped coaching staff. Normally, these new staff member would rely heavily on the offseason to build a rapport with players, install their systems and simply get the lay of the land in their new city. And they will do this in 2011, too—if there is an offseason, that is.
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