Unit-by-Unit Analysis

Here's a quick breakdown of where the Cowboys will look to strengthen themselves headed into free agency and this April's NFL Draft. Obviously, the running game and the offensive line appear to be two huge priorities.

Starter -- Quincy Carter. Backups -- Chad Hutchinson, Tony Romo.

Carter must be better in 2004 and eliminate mistakes while still producing big plays. That still won't preclude the Cowboys from seeking an upgrade in the offseason. Hutchinson appears to be headed to NFL Europe.

Running Back
Starter -- RB Troy Hambrick, FB Richie Anderson. Backups -- RB Erik Bickerstaff; RB Aveion Cason, RB ReShard Lee, FB Jamar Martin.

They will be in the market for a frontline runner, either in the draft, free agency or both. Hambrick didn't get the job done in 2003 in the eyes of most in the organization.

Wide Receivers
Starters -- WR Joey Galloway, WR Terry Glenn. Backups -- Antonio Bryant, Randal Williams, Zuriel Smith.

The Cowboys will likely cut Galloway and sign a possession receiver (Keyshawn Johnson) to play opposite Glenn. Potential and mouth be damned with Bryant.

Tight End
Starter-- TE Dan Campbell. Backups -- Jason Witten, James Whalen, Jeff Robinson.

The Cowboys appear to be locked and loaded at tight end next season. Campbell was an invaluable free agent pickup and Witten showed flashes as the next great Cowboys tight end behind Billy Joe Dupree and Jay Novacek.

Offensive Line
Starters -- LT Flozell Adams, LG Larry Allen, C Matt Lehr, RG Andre Gurode, RT Kurt Vollers. Backups -- G Tyson Walter, T Javier Collins, T Ryan Young, G/T Torrin Tucker, G/C Gennaro Dinapoli, C Al Johnson.

The Cowboys showed Adams the money in the offseason and he rewarded them with a Pro Bowl performance. Unfortunately, questions persist at just about every other position up front.

Defensive Line
Starters -- DE Greg Ellis, DT Willie Blade, DT La'Roi Glover, DE Ebenezer Ekuban. Backups -- DE Erik Ogbogu, DE Kenyon Coleman, DT Jermaine Brooks, DT Leo Carson, DT Shaun Smith, DT Daleroy Stewart.

The biggest question on this unit is finding a catalytic pass rusher. The Cowboys need more sacks to create more big plays on defense.

Starters -- LB Dexter Coakley MLB Dat Nguyen, SLB Al Singleton. Backups -- Jamal Brooks, Bradie James, Keith O'Neil, Markus Steele.

Coakley had a team-record seventh-straight 100 tackle season and Nguyen proved to Parcells that little men can play this game. Singleton was a solid citizen and solid performer.

Defensive Backs
Starters -- CB Terence Newman, CB Mario Edwards, FS Roy Williams, SS Darren Woodson. Backups -- CB Pete Hunter, CB Donald Mitchell, S Tony Dixon, S Lynn Scott, CB Andrew Davison, CB Jemeel Powell.

The Cowboys can look for an upgrade but probably won't find a better bargain for the price than Edwards, considering how much they are paying Newman and Williams. The Cowboys head into the offseason wondering how much Woodson has left.

Special Teams
Starters -- PK Billy Cundiff, P Toby Gowin, LS Jeff Robinson.

Cundiff overcame rookie inconsistencies with strong sophomore season. Made 23 of 29 field goals including an NFL-record tying seven in an overtime victory over the Giants. Gowin did not live up to expectations as punter or kickoff guy. Averaged just 39 yards per punt and recorded only two touchbacks on kickoffs. He must be better or he will be replaced in 2004. Again Robinson is the best at what he does.

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