2009 record: 11-5 (First in NFC East)
Steve WycheTony Romo has a lot of toys and Doug Free will be fine at left tackle. Talent and depth everywhere. Corner Mike Jenkins is a rising star.
20Ranking of Dallas' pass defense. Even though the Cowboys finished the year as a top-10 defense overall, the unit will look to improve on stopping opposing passing games.
Williams is squarely on the hot seat despite posting a career high in yards per catch (15.7) last year. He was brought in to be the No. 1 receiver, but spent most of the year in a complementary role to Jason Witten and Miles Austin. With rookie first-rounder Dez Bryant on board as the heir apparent, the pressure is on for Williams to step up his game.
DeMarcus WareWare, a four-time Pro Bowler, is the Cowboys' defensive linchpin with his relentless motor and outstanding rush skills. Although Ware's game is built on speed and quickness, his emerging arsenal of rush moves has made him nearly impossible to block off the edge. With a training camp spent working with former Cowboys legend, Charles Haley, Ware should continue to rank as one of the league's premier pass rushers.
Don't sleep on Barber just yetFelix Jones is a popular sleeper in fantasy circles, but Marion Barber remains atop the depth chart and shouldn't be forgotten. Remember, his best seasons came while in a committee with Julius Jones. The fact that Barber will also see most of the goal-line work just adds to his value.
Three pivotal games
Oct. 17 at MinnesotaThe Cowboys won a playoff game for the first time in 13 years last season, but managed to score just three points in an embarrassing divional round loss to the Vikings. The stage is set for a rematch of epic proportions ... or somewhere in the vicinity. You'd have to think Dallas will certainly have revenge on its mind.
Nov. 7 at Green BayThe Cowboys open November in a big way when they take on the Packers, who defeated Dallas at Lambeau Field last season. This game is in primetime, so you can expect a playoff-like atmosphere. That might not be a bad thing, either, since both teams are expected to make deep postseason runs -- if not go all the way to the Super Bowl.
Nov. 25 vs. New OrleansGames played on the last Thursday in November can usually be marked as an easy "W" for the Cowboys. After blowout victories on Thanksgiving for the last four years, the schedule gets a little tougher as "America's Team" gets tested by Drew Brees and the defending champion Saints. This could get dubbed as a preview of the NFC title game.