It has long been surmised that the most important position on a football team is the QB. I know some on this forum disagree, but I feel we are well covered at this most important position. The last 2 full years Tony Romo has played at an amazing level. His team is inspired. The production is out of this world. At QB we are set.
There is debate about what is the next most important position on a football team. For the sake of giving the man his due, I am going to say pass rusher. DeMarcus Ware is the most feared, respected, and unstoppable force in the NFL in pursuit of a QB. How he has not yet been the Defensive Player of the Year is beyond me. On every play the Offense must account for him or havoc ensues. Sometimes it ensues even if they do account for him.
The position debated against that one is the one that has to block the pass rusher most often. That would be Left Tackle. Forgive my optimism, but I think we are set for a long, long time. I still can't get over how young Tyron Smith is. Even more impressive is his physical ability. More than one player has remarked that if he gets his hands on someone, they are done for that play. He hasn't even scratched his potential yet.
From there we probably start talking about CB. Well, we upgraded on both sides and if Mike Jenkins returns and plays the slot we have arguably a top 5 CB corps. With the NFL moving more and more towards a passing league you have to be able to cover the WRs. Morris Claiborne has some ability to be a top 5 CB in the NFL if he works and reaches his potential. His long arms and good hands mean he will make QBs and WRs pay for mistakes.
It is an easy segue form CB to WR in importance. Many are lamenting the loss of Laurent Robinson, but I think Dez Bryant is incredibly close to being one of the very best WRs in the NFL. If he gets the ball in his hands he is already dangerous. Miles Austin had a down season due to hamstrings. He is one of the hardest WRs to cover one on one in the NFL and with Dez on the other side covering him one on one is a risk. Throw in the best TE in the NFL in Jason Witten and the passing attack is in great shape.
Now we move to the brains of the Defense in importance. It is just my opinion, but Sean Lee gives me great confidence here. He has a nose for the football that I haven't seen in Dallas since Lee Roy Jordan. He is a sure tackler and he makes great instinctive plays. He has potential to be even better now that he has added depth inside with him. Connor and Carter will only make Sean Lee even better.
Finally I will address RB. The NFL is still a running league and the teams that do it well can make the other team pay dearly. With Demarco Murray running behind Lawrence Vickers I feel we have potentially a top 10 running attack in the NFL and certainly some reason for optimism.
Some people like to say you can't have a steak on every plate. I agree, and we don't. These are only some of the positions on both sides of the football. A team is only as strong as its weakest link. It feels good to see these types of links making so much of the chain strong. We can argue for months leading up to the season and we probably will. I feel pretty comfortable in saying we have talent on this football team. Enough talent that if other positions step up and play to a decent level, we will go far.
I feel the following players are therefore real keys to this football season. Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff, Bruce Carter, Doug Free, and Dan Bailey. If we get the same kind of consistency in the kicking game as last year and those players step up or rebound from down years the sky is the limit in 2012.
Sorry for the optimism folks. A wave of happy overcame me and I couldn't keep it down.