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Old 07-10-2005, 10:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pittsburg, KS

2004 Season Preview

For years now, the Dallas Cowboys have suffered losing season after losing season. As the sun was about to set on this once proud franchise, a new owner appeared on the horizon and he brought with him a plan to turn years of mediocrity into something fans could again cheer for. The man that made his millions buying and renovating rundown buildings and then selling them for ungodly amounts of money has no intention of doing that with this team. "I hope to bring a new philosophy to this organization," said new owner/GM Justin Shipman. "They have been run into the ground by an owner that didn't change along with the game. I hope to take my experiences in the real estate business and apply it to the rebuilding of this team." Upon arriving in Dallas earlier this week, Mr. Shipman set down with the coaching staff and evaluated every player on the current roster. A list of young players on other teams was compiled and Shipman made a lot of roster moves, including releasing veterans and trading away picks for cheap, good young players already signed to long-term contracts. The following is a breakdown of the players that Dallas will start the season with and a few notes on each position.

Opening Day Roster

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Testaverde, Vinny 16 QB QB 17 52 54 3 yrs
Romo, Tony 9 QB 2 9 41 1 yr.
Henson, Drew 7 QB 1 8 34 3 yrs

The Cowboys added veteran QB Vinny Testaverde in the off-season in hopes to jumpstart a sputtering offense. Testaverde threw for 1385 yards to go along with 7 TDs and just 2 INTs, appearing in seven games as a backup for the New York Jets in 2003. The team also added QB Drew Henson, who gave up baseball to pursue football. Henson and QB Tony Romo look to be mediocre backups but will have to hold down the fort until a franchise QB can be brought in if Testaverde decides to retire at seasons end.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Jones, Julius 21 RB RB 1 46 62 4 yrs
Lee, ReShard 32 RB 1 23 36 2 yrs
Herndon, Donny 49 RB 1 32 51 1 yr.
Barnes, Darian 36 FB 5 37 57 1 yr.
Kreider, Dan 23 FB FB 5 54 63 4 yrs

RB Eddie George was released by the Tennessee Titans after rushing for 1,031 yards in 2003. The Cowboys quickly jumped on the aging veteran to bring some stability to a backfield that hasn't been productive since RB Emmitt Smith left for the desert in Arizona. But Mr. Shipman after taking over didn't feel that George was worthy to run out of his backfield, so he promptly released him. They also drafted Notre Dame RB Julius Jones, a move that was questioned when they decided to pass on RB Stephen Jackson. Jones looks to be a workhorse and should florish in new headcoach Randall Groh's system. FB Ritchie Anderson was another guy brought in by former management and as you will see is the theme with older veterans, he was traded to Buffalo for a draft pick. Shipman then targeted Pittsburgh's big FB Dan Kreider. Kreider is a excellent run blocker and good pass catcher. He is signed through 2007 and at a cheap cost.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Glenn, Terry 83 FL FL 9 53 62 4 yrs
Sok, Riddick 80 FL 1 19 45 1 yr.
Loftus, Winston 87 FL 1 18 42 1 yr.
Morgan, Quincy 81 SE SE 4 53 64 1 yr.
##Alicea, Marlon 88 SE 1 12 40 1 yr.
Witten, Jason 82 TE TE 2 47 74 3 yrs
Fair, Andy 85 TE 1 16 45 1 yr.
Sobin, Quentin 89 TE 1 16 48 1 yr.

The Cowboys have a couple good WR's in Terry Glenn and Quincy Morgan. Though neither one is great and are probably better #2 and #3 receivers on most teams, they will be expected to do the job of #1 and #2 receivers. The rest of the wide receiver core was release, the biggest name being WR Keyshawn Johnson, whom was too big of a menace to his teammates. TE Jason Witten has received only praises from the Front Office and his teammates. Dallas officials believe that he will become the best TE in the league, possibly with one more season under his belt. The kid caught 35 passes for 347 yards in 2003 but only visited the endzone one time. If Dallas can land a QB in the near future, this guy will be the reincarnation of TE Jay Novacek. Undrafted rookies were brought in to round out the other three WR spots and two TE spots. Kids look good if they can reach their potential...we will see.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Johnson, Al 62 C 2 22 35 3 yrs
Grove, Jake 57 C C 1 40 80 4 yrs
Gurode, Andre 65 RG LG 3 56 69 5 yrs
Smiley, Justin 67 RG RG 1 36 82 3 yrs
Sawyer, J.J. 66 RG 1 19 40 1 yr.
Adams, Flozell 76 LT LT 7 48 58 4 yrs
Vollers, Kurt 78 LT 3 32 50 1 yr.
Rogers, Jacob 79 RT RT 1 38 73 4 yrs

The Cowboys began the reshaping of the offensive line by releasing the only holdover from the last Super Bowl...G Larry Allen. The team also parted ways with some 2nd and 3rd year guys that just hadn't panned out. Shipman was quick to add C Jake Grove from Oakland & G Justin Smiley from San Francisco. If the young guys can develop quickly, this offensive line will be a solid unit for years to come, as all are signed to long-term contracts.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Ellis, Ernest 6 P 1 39 63 1 yr.
Sutton, Billy 19 K 1 25 55 1 yr.

The kicking game was in sad shape. P Mat McBriar and K Billy Cundiff were both released. The team brought in untested and undrafted rookie free agents P Ernest Ellis and K Billy Sutton. Shipman has made it clear that unlike Jerry Jones, who never spent much for kickers and punters, Mr. Shipman believes that the kicking game is the backbone of the team and rest assured that he will find some talent for these positions.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Wiley, Marcellus 75 LDE LDE 8 56 61 4 yrs
Ellis, Greg 98 RDE RDE 7 67 76 6 yrs
Abrams, Irving 94 RDE 1 21 35 1 yr.
Conley, Billy 74 RDE 1 15 37 1 yr.
##Ballard, Karl 72 LDT 1 20 44 1 yr.
Glover, La'Roi 97 RDT LDT 9 74 79 3 yrs
Tubbs, Marcus 73 RDT RDT 1 43 73 4 yrs
Summers, Jeffrey 71 RDT 1 17 44 1 yr.
Cosgrove, Damon 96 RDT 1 15 43 1 yr.

The Cowboys are BIG on the defensive line…..REALLY BIG! They have four dominating linemen after adding DT Marcus Tubbs via a trade that sent a future #1 pick to Seattle. DE Marcellus Wiley was signed away from San Diego in the offseason to help bolster a line that already features longtime Cowboy DE Greg Ellis and last years free agent pickup DT La’Roi Glover. This might just be the best front four ever assembled.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Nguyen, Dat 59 MLB MLB 6 70 71 4 yrs
Watson, Courtney 92 MLB 1 38 76 4 yrs
##Chapman, Desmond 53 MLB 1 19 45 1 yr.
##Hartman, Ted 99 MLB 1 20 47 1 yr.
Sanborn, Brady 95 SLB 1 8 37 1 yr.
Coakley, Dexter 52 WLB SLB 8 62 62 3 yrs
James, Bradie 56 WLB WLB 2 26 56 2 yrs
Helming, Mario 50 WLB 1 14 33 1 yr.

LBs Dat Nguyen and Dexter Coakley are consistent contributors to this defense. Nguyen has surpassed the 100+ tackle mark in two out of his last three seasons. Although Coakley has only had over 100 tackles once during his career, he has been consistently in the 85-95 range. He also has a knack for interception passes, having picked off ten during his career and returned four of those for TDs. After those two, the Cowboys were really lacking any depth, so Shipman added LB Courtney Watson from New Orleans for two 2nd round picks. Bradie James looks to become a good backup down the road, possibly even a starter.

Player # Pos Start Exp Current Estimate Future Estimate Cntrct
Newman, Terence 41 LCB LCB 2 58 87 6 yrs
Feeley, Corwin 34 LCB 1 12 41 1 yr.
Springer, Bubba 40 LCB 1 12 43 1 yr.
##Berry, Andrew 33 LCB 1 15 38 1 yr.
Carroll, Ahmad 42 RCB RCB 1 30 63 5 yrs
Woodson, Darren 28 SS SS 13 81 81 3 yrs
Dixon, Tony 24 FS 4 31 55 1 yr.
##Scott, Lynn 38 FS 4 26 48 1 yr.
Williams, Roy 31 FS FS 3 51 73 3 yrs
##Andersen, Donnie 48 FS 1 17 49 1 yr.

This team has prided itself in the building of its secondary of the last few years. They started off by drafting FS Roy Williams from Oklahoma to play alongside and learn from SS Darren Woodson. Then they managed to land CB Terence Newman from Kansas State. And just when you thought that their one weakness was at RCB, Shipman arrives and acquires CB Ahmad Carroll from Green Bay. When the young guys reach their potential, they will have a pretty dominating secondary. Woodson is getting older and the possibility of retirement always looms but Woodson has made it clear he wants to play in the big game one last time.

Salary Cap Status

Salary Cap: $80,600,000
Cap Room:$330,000
Maximum for New Player: $21,200,000
Cap Room Lost (to old contracts): $9,040,000

Cap Room Lost Next Year (to old contracts): $19,830,000
Cap Room Required Next Year: $71,920,000

2004 Schedule

Week 1 @ Minnesota Vikings
Week 2 Cleveland Browns
Week 3 @ Washington Redskins
Week 4 OPEN
Week 5 New York Giants
Week 6 Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 7 @ Green Bay Packers
Week 8 Detroit Lions
Week 9 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Week 10 Philadelphia Eagles
Week 11 @ Baltimore Ravens
Week 12 Chicago Bears
Week 13 @ Seattle Seahawks
Week 14 New Orleans Saints
Week 15 @ Philadelphia Eagles
Week 16 Washington Redskins
Week 17 @ New York Giants
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