Injuries are never becoming of an NFL team, just ask the 2009 New York Football Giants. It seems that when one player goes down it creates a domino effect and the entire team starts on a downward spiral. 2010 Denver Broncos seems to know this all too well.
This year the Dallas Cowboys have faced issues on their offensive line. Starting right tackle Marc Colombo recently went down with a bum knee and now starting left guard Kyle Kosier is out with…a…bum…knee. Back-up tackle Alex Barron has a sprained ankle as well.
See what I mean when I say domino effect?
The offensive line, in my humble opinion, is the weakest part of the team in Dallas. Last year they were completely ravaged by Minnesota’s scary pass rush and a few years ago the Giants made work of them in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. A few of the guys are different, but it’s pretty much the same crew from 2007.
Consistency is not their strong point.
Quarterback Tony Romo is looking to improve upon his 26 touchdown season last year. If the offensive line is able to stay steady for the better part of the year then he has a fair shot. But come playoff time when teams are usually dealing with injuries to key players how will the Cowboys offensive line stand? Will Colombo and Kosier’s knee injuries still linger? Will the Cowboys have to go out and sign another lineman to add depth to an already shaky organization of offensive behemoths?
Time is our best answer to that question but how they stand up against the rest of the division, sans the offensive line, could be their 2nd biggest problem.
According to SI.com’s Peter King the Giants have the best 8 man defensive front rotation in the league this season. Let’s see there are the arrivals of new Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, rookie Jason Paul-Pierre, the semi-return of defensive end Osi Umenyiora, and the addition of Antrel Rolle at safety.
The offense will still have Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield. (The Brandon Jacobs hype machine has been demoted to 2nd team behind Bradshaw) In regards to their receiving core Steve Smith is coming off of a 1,220 yard season and Kevin Boss will provide assurance for Manning at the tight end spot.
A few new faces to graze the field-turf at the new $1 billion dollar stadium where they will call home for the next 15 years will no doubt have plenty of war stories to tell of the 2010 season.
Yet is this team good enough to make its way back to the Super Bowl?
The short answer is no. The Giants have a great defensive rotation, there is no argument there. But new defensive coordinator, injuries that are sure to arise, and the uncertainty of Umenyiora responding well from his 2008 knee injury place them for 3rd place finish within the division behind the Eagles.
3rd place in the NFC East isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the Eagles and Giants could very well have one game in between them with both teams posting 10 or more wins this season.
But for the 2010 New York Giants I would say that more substance will come from their stadium than their team.
You can e-mail Jason at Jshenry83@gmail.com