Starter -- Quincy Carter. Backups -- Chad Hutchinson, Tony Romo.
For third time in three years Quincy Carter will open the season as the Cowboys quarterback.
Carter was named the starter over Chad Hutchinson because he gives the Cowboys the best chance to win. He has run-pass skills that give the Cowboys an extra dimension and has played mistake-free football in the preseason.
Hutchinson, who returned to football last season after spending four years in the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization, was deemed too inexperienced to run a pro football team by Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.
Moreover, Parcells said Hutchinson should have never been put in position to replace Carter last season and even had him battle with rookie free-agent Tony Romo for the #2 spot. (even though he eventually won the backup role)
While some media outlets are reporting that Hutchinson will eventually reclaim his starting spot this season- don't bank on it. Parcells wasn't impressed with anything outside of his height and arm strength during the preseason.
Quincy Carter outplayed his counterpart and will be the quarterback for this team in 2003- like it or not.
Starter -- RB Troy Hambrick, FB Richie Anderson. Backups -- RB Aveion Cason, RB Adrian Murrell, FB Jamar Martin.
For the first time since 1989, the Cowboys backfield won't have Emmitt Smith in it. Hambrick will get the first shot to replace the league's all-time leading rusher. Hambrick has good size and speed. He must prove he can handle the workload for the first time in his career.
Hambrick had only 317 yards on 79 carries last year. He has total of 924 career yards and 11 career starts. Murrell was brought in to give the Cowboys an experienced option in case Hambrick can't carry the load. They Cowboys will likely still spread the ball around in 2003 with Anderson and Cason all figuring to get touches as runners and receivers.
Adrian Murrell, who was released this weekend, might be brought back after the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
TIGHT END/H-BACK: Starter -- TE Dan Campbell. Backups -- Jason Witten, James Whalen, Jeff Robinson.
This will be tight end by committee and what a solid committee it is. Campbell, a free-agent signee from the Giants, is the designated run blocker. McGee and Whalen are the pass catchers and Witten, a rookie third-round pick, is adept at doing both. Truthfully, all, except the undersized Whalen, will contribute as run blockers and pass catchers. Considering Parcells' inclination to use the tight end in his offenses, look for this group to have a big impact in 2003.
Starters -- WR Joey Galloway, WR Antonio Bryant. Backups -- Terry Glenn, Reggie Swinton, Randal Williams, Zuriel Smith.
Terry Glenn was a nice offseason addition for a Cowboys receiver corps that was set with starters Joey Galloway and Antonio Bryant.
He is reunited with Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, who made Glenn the NFL's seventh choice in the 1996 draft when both were with New England.
Though Glenn will be the third receiver in Dallas, Parcells said he is hoping for "that same guy he was when he was a rookie" when Glenn made 90 receptions for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns.
He should fit nicely with Galloway, an old teammate at Ohio State, and Bryant. In 2002, Galloway finally gave the Cowboys some return on the investment they made in 2000 when they traded two first round picks to Seattle to acquire him. He had 61 catches for 908 yards and six touchdowns. Bryant had a sparkling rookie season with 44 catches for 773 yards and six touchdowns.
Starters -- LT Flozell Adams, LG Larry Allen, C Matt Lehr, RG Andre Gurode, RT Ryan Young. Backups -- G Tyson Walter, T Javier Collins, T Kurt Vollers, C Gennaro DiNapoli.
The Cowboys offensive line situation last year was the worst in the history of the league. Injuries forced the Cowboys to start nine different units in the first 10 games. Many of the players who did start were simply the best of a bad lot, which made rebuilding up front the biggest goal of the offseason.
Adams was given a five-year, $25 million contract, including a $10 million signing bonus. The Cowboys hope Allen, who saw his streak of Pro Bowls end at eight because of a season-ending ankle injury last season, can return to form.
They hoped rookie second-round pick Al Johnson would have solidified the center position, however went down with a knee injury in camp. DiNapoli was brought in from Tennessee to fill the void, however Lehr will hold the job at the start of the season. Gurode will hold down right guard. And Young, a free-agent signee from Houston, will be an upgrade at right tackle over the departed Solomon Page.
Unit By Unit Analysis: The Offense
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