5 Questions for 2005

The 2005 offseason may be one of the most important times in recent memory for the Dallas Cowboys. <BR>

#5. What role will Vinny play?
By most accounts, it seems as though veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde will be returning to the Cowboys next season. But what role will he play? Will the Cowboys opt to go with Drew Henson next season? Does Vinny move into more of a teaching position for a younger quarterback? Or do the Cowboys try one more year to ride an aging quarterback into a playoff run? The answers to these questions will ultimately dictate many of the Cowboys' free agent and draft day strategies.

#4. Who will be kept, who will be released?
Bill Parcells already told his team that sweeping changes will likely be felt throughout the organization, and already that statement has proven to be true. Gone is Larry Lacewell, the Cowboys' Director of College and Pro scouting, and gone is offensive line coach George Warhop, who is already interviewing for an assistant coaching position at Florida State.

Within the team itself, the Cowboys will have decisions to make with several restricted free agents, including CB Pete Hunter, PK Billy Cundiff, OL Tyson Walter, and possibly others.

In addition, there's little doubt that unrestricted free agent Eddie George will move on. And don't forget about the additional coaching changes expected to go down later this week.

#3. Is Julius Jones injury prone?
This may be one of the most important questions facing the Cowboys this year. A healthy Julius Jones gives the Cowboys a dimension they haven't had since the prime of Emmitt Smith's career. An injured Julius Jones seems to keep this team stuck in the Dave Campo era of yesteryear. Jones proved to be the answer at running back last season when healthy, but he needs to show that he can withstand a 16 game schedule before Cowboys fans can rest easy.

#2. Does Bill Parcells still have it in him?
Let's fact the facts, Bill Parcells isn't getting any younger and the expectations at Valley Ranch aren't growing any smaller. And now, coming off a 6-10 season, the next few months may be one of the most important times for the Cowboys in recent memory. Does Bill Parcells still have it in him to lead this team back to the Super Bowl? Most experts tend to think he does, but if things don't go his way early next season, it makes one wonder how much more of this he can take.

#1. What do the Cowboys do with $20 million?
The Cowboys could be more than $20 million under the salary cap this year and that should give the team plenty of options with personnel. Some of the recent signings during the offseason, have turned out to be marvelous, for instance La'Roi Glover. Others have turned out to be busts, for instance Marcellus Wiley. The Cowboys signed Wiley to a four-year, $16 million deal to replace Ebenezer Ekuban, who left for Cleveland in free agency last year. Ekuban ended up with eight sacks for the Browns, while Wiley managed just three for the Cowboys. Who can the Cowboys corral this year? The answer to that question will likely dictate the Cowboys playoff hopes next season.

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