The offense will be Parcells' greatest challenge. He has to turn around the 30th ranked offensive unit, and he will have to do it without the services of the NFL's all time leading rusher in Emmitt Smith who was released after 13 seasons with the team, and signed with the Arizona Cardinals. A move that will no doubt leave a bitter taste in the mouth of Cowboys' fans for a long time to come. Running back Troy Hambrick appears ready to take on the starting role, but recent reports have indicated that Hambrick is coming out of the off-season overweight. He reportedly has been told to lose ten pounds by Parcells before camp starts. Probably not the first impression for the new head coach that Hambrick wanted to send. On top of the uncertainty at RB is the uncertainty at quarterback. Chad Hutchinson appears to be the early favorite to start, but it's not a locked position. Third year QB Quincy Carter will compete once again for the starting job. You can bet that whoever wins the job had better produce or "The Tuna" will probably make a quick change.
Parcells' first big free agent signing came to the hands of veteran WR Terry Glenn who played under him in New England and will make a solid receiving duo with WR Joey Galloway. The offense will be improved this year, however it will still needs some work for the next couple of seasons.
The defensive side of the ball shouldn't be as hard of a job for Parcells. Although only ranked 18th last year, the defense played solid and kept the ‘Boys in most of their games. This year they will return an identical team with a few improvements. Most noticeably at linebacker and cornerback. They signed LB Al Singleton (Bucs) who started 14 games for last years #1 ranked defense at Tampa Bay. They also drafted a big talent with their first round selection in CB Terrence Newman. (Kansas St.) Newman is a shutdown cornerback that will join second year man Derek Ross and third year Mario Edwards to form a young, solid cornerback corps. The defense will again perform well and if given an improved offense will make Dallas' season more exciting then the previous three.
I see Dallas improved but not quite there yet. There are too many weak spots on this team. Parcells is a Hall of Fame coach and will get the best out of his players. I see the Cowboys at 7-9 at best and probably finishing last in the East again. Give Parcells two or three seasons and the Cowboys will be legit again. The real rebuilding will now begin.