QUARTERBACK: Starter - Drew Bledsoe. Backups - Tony Romo, Drew Henson.
Bledsoe has effectively ended the quarterback merry-go-round that had been in place in Dallas since the retirement of Troy Aikman. Bledsoe,
the eighth starting quarterback since Aikman departed in 2000, proved to be the team's best of that group. He passed for 3,639 yards with 23
touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also has put on hold the team's search for quarterback of the future, as Bledsoe will be around at least two more years. Romo was the firm choice as the No. 2 quarterback, although he did not get on the field in 2005. Henson still needs seasoning and will work in NFL Europe during the spring.
RUNNING BACKS: Starters - RB Julius Jones, FB Lousaka Polite. Backups - RB Marion Barber, RB Tyson Thompson.
Julius Jones did not have the season he or the Cowboys expected, rushing for 993 yards on 257 carries with just five touchdowns. Blame injuries, as he missed three games with a high ankle sprain, and poor blocking up front. He has now missed 11 games in two years in the league. The Cowboys have to wonder if he can play a full 16 games. Helping soothe those concerns was the emergence of Barber, who proved to be a nice complement to Jones. Barber rushed for 538 yards and five touchdowns and won the job as the team's third-down back.
TIGHT END: Starter - Jason Witten. Backups - Dan Campbell, Brett Pierce, Sean Ryan.
Witten didn't have the season he had a year ago and did not initally get a return trip to the Pro Bowl, but he may have become a more complete tight end. With 66 catches for 757 yards and six touchdowns, he also became the first tight end in team history to have back to back 60-catch
seasons. Campbell is the team's primary blocking tight end. He is key to the running game while also bringing toughness and leadership. As an
unrestricted free agent, Campbell's return is a top off-season priority.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters - Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn. Backups - Patrick Crayton, Terrence Copper.
Glenn played a full 16 games for only the second time in his career and had a breakout season with 62 catches for 1,136 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged a whopping 18.3 yards per catch. Johnson was simply Johnson, leading the team with 71 catches for 839 yards and six touchdowns. Crayton caught 22 passes for 341 yards proved to be a capable third receiver, although he missed five games with a ankle injury. Crayton needs to continue to develop. But look for the Cowboys
to draft a receiver for the future considering the ages of Johnson and Glenn.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Starters - LT Flozell Adams, LG Larry Allen, C Al Johnson, RG Marco Rivera, RT Rob Petitti. Backups - G Stephen Peterman, G/C Andre Gurode, G Cory Proctor, T Marc Columbo, T Torrin Tucker.
Blocking woes were the source of problems for the offense all season. It began with use of the rookie Rob Petitti at right tackle because the
Cowboys had no other option. Losing Flozell Adams to a knee injury in Week 6 only compounded the problem, as it put the unreliable Torrin Tucker on the field. It didn't help that Allen and Rivera weren't as good as expected, although Allen earned another trip to the Pro Bowl. Adams' return will
be a huge upgrade, but look for the team to sign another tackle in free agency. Allen and Rivera might be asked to take a pay cut or face being
Unit-by-Unit Analysis: Offense
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