Cowboy Country - Friday Conversation with Ryan Wilson: 7/19/2013

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Friday Conversation with Ryan Wilson: 7/19/2013

With this weekend being the last weekend before the Dallas Cowboys head off to Oxnard, California for Training Camp, Ryan Wilson and myself had our usual weekly pow wow to discuss the team, and where the focus should be going into camp.

This will be a busy camp for the Cowboys, with major changes on both offense and defense.

The defense will be not only be converting to a 4-3 defense, but they will also be doing it under the direction of a new coaching staff. The offense will be figuring out who is going to step up on the offensive line, and implementing a two tight end set. The will also work more on the zone blocking scheme.

With the NFL Hall of Fame game being a little over a month and a half away, and camp starting next week, it is finally time for football again.  

DD: Okay, so the Dallas Cowboys have 10 games before their bye-week. I honestly don't think they will survive, what do you think?

RW: Honestly, I think opening night will be huge. The Cowboys have a big showdown versus the Giants in Arlington. If the Cowboys can take that one, there is a real good chance they win their next 3, starting the season 4-0.

Denver and Washington will be very tough, but keep in mind; They will be at home for both games. Tony Romo has fared well in showdowns versus Peyton Manning. This should prove to be a different monster.

As far as Washington goes, it really depends on RGIII's knee is holding up. Then, you have some other tough games towards the end of that 10-game stretch in a showdown in Motor City (which could be tough), and New Orleans right before their bye week.

If the Cowboys health holds up, and the D-Line shows they have the ability to get to the quarterback, the Cowboys should go 7-3, or 6-4 at the worst.

DD: So it sounds like you think the offense will be rolling on all cylinders, what about the defense?

RW: The defense is up in the air. With Monte Kiffin taking the reigns, and implementing his 4-3 defense, there should be a heavy influence on getting to the QB. The only problem with that is if the Cowboys don't get to the QB, it leaves the secondary vulnerable to the passing attack. This is where my concerns are. I'm also eager to see how Demarcus Ware fares in the 4-3. He is used to his quick first move in the 3-4, so with him being closer to the ground, will he get that advantage off the ball?

DD: Will the Cowboys force more sacks than they receive this year?

RW: Last year, the Cowboys had 34 sacks, but were sacked 36. I expect this season to be very similar. Again, it all depends on how the Cowboys will adapt to the new 4-3 scheme. I think the Cowboys will force 38 sacks, and will be sacked 35 times.

DD: So just one less for Romo?

RW: Yeah, the Cowboys didn't really address their offensive line concerns, so I think it will be around the same yet again this season

DD: I've been looking at the schedule, and I believe that Romo, Witten, and Bryant will make the Pro Bowl this year. I also believe that Bryant will get damn close to 2,000 yards receiving. What QB will Romo beat out this year?

RW: I think there are always going to be guys that will be a threat. First, you have Aaron Rogers, one of the best QB's in all of football. Drew Brees will put up another solid year, especially with his boy Sean Peyton back. RGIII is a question mark based on his knee. I think Romo will beat out guys like Russell Wilson and Eli Manning. Romo has always had the numbers, but the up and down play of the Cowboys has held him back a few times. I don't see that as the case this season.

DD: So Romo will get the 3rd spot?

RW: I think Romo will get the 3rd spot, right behind Rodgers (Starting) and Brees.

RW: Who do you see as the Cowboys breakout star on defense in 2013?

DD: I really don’t know if I can label this guy as a breakout star, but his presence on the field will be known. I have watched a lot of film on BW Webb, and he will be a great addition to the secondary. He will be able to compete, and make plays at nickel back, and on special teams. His price tag is a lot lower than Orlando Scandrick’s, and I believe that he has more upside.

RW: What did you think the release of Lawrence Vickers means to this Cowboys running game?

DD: It really didn’t mean much; the running game, as well as the offensive line is still a work in progress. As good as Vickers is at the fullback position, he was never utilized the way he could have been in Dallas. The Cowboys interior linemen were terrible at opening holes, and Vickers was a sitting duck most of the time. The Cowboys are putting their faith in two TE sets, and implementing more zone blocking schemes, so we will see how that works out.

RW: Will Jason Garret remain on the hot seat all year long or will it cool down a bit this season?

DD: Not fair for Garrett, but he will live on the hot seat, until he makes it past the divisional round. You will never get more than four years in Dallas to make the obvious changes needed. I call it the Jimmy Johnson rule. Garrett is doing all of the right things, it is just sad that, instant gratification is a requirement in Dallas.

RW: Tony Romo was just recently ranked #15 on Ron Jaworski's QB Rankings...where do you have him ranked and why?

DD: I thought that was absolute foolery, and that Romo should have easily been in the top 10. I get it, he ‘can’t win the big game,’ but that is said about every quarterback before they actually pull it off. I think Tony Romo is judged by his sub par defenses of year’s past, and that isn’t fair. I would have had him at seven, above Phillip Rivers, and Jay Cutler.

RW: What do you think the Cowboys biggest strength is? What is their weakest?

DD: That’s easy, offense, and defense. It’s been that way for over a decade.

Wilson is the Owner and Founder of MavsFanatic.com, and contributor for Cowboys 24x7.com. Find him on Twitter @TheMavsFanatic

Davis is the site’s Editor, and his Twitter is @thedemariodavis

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