LT Flozell Adams: Adams has been a whipping boy of the team and fans for much of his career with the Cowboys. But after missing much of last season with a knee injury, he is appreciated more than ever as his loss was a season turning event for the Cowboys. The offensive line was in complete disarray. Already unable to protect at right tackle, the Cowboys also could not protect quarterback Drew Bledsoe's blindside. Absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder. That is certainly the case with Adams and the Cowboys, who are hoping a healthy Adams will anchor the left side of the line for years to come.
QB Drew Bledsoe: Drew Bledsoe bears watching because he is the new quarterback for Terrell Owens. Of course everyone knows about the relationship Owens had with his previous two quarterbacks -- Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb. Bledsoe says he will give Owens a clean slate. But clearly he has not had his head in the sand. Bledsoe is described by Keyshawn Johnson as the last of the old school quarterbacks -- guys who like to get in the face of their receivers for bad routes or dropped passes. This duo's relationship bears watching. Owens is sensitive and doesn't like to be called out. Does Bledsoe change and watch his mouth with Owens or will he be the same old Bledsoe? And of course, how will Owens take things?
DT Jason Ferguson: Jason Ferguson came to the Cowboys last season with a $9 million free agent signing bonus. It's safe to say he didn't live up to expectations. He was injured in training camp and lost his starting job to La'Roi Glover. Even though Ferguson finished the season in the starting lineup, he was less than dominant. It was Glover who earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. Glover is gone to the Rams and with no experienced tackles on the roster, the Cowboys need Ferguson to give them a return on their investment. He must be the dominant run stopper he was during his days with the Jets.
LB DeMarcus Ware: DeMarcus Ware lived up to expectations as a rookie, recording eight sacks and earning all-rookie honors. It is especially notable that he eased into the linebacker position after playing defensive end in college. Look for him to have a breakout year in 2006. Double-digit sacks are just the starting point for Ware. He is stronger and has spent the off season working to improve his knowledge of the defense as well as the linebacker position so he can just play without thinking on the field. Add that to an already sick array of natural pass rush skills and the Cowboys could have a future Pro Bowler.
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