2004 Dallas Cowboys Season Preview

<b>Head Coach: </b>Bill Parcells <br><br> <b> Last season's record: </b>10-6&nbsp;<br><br> <b> Last Playoff appearance: </b> 2003<br><br> <b> Key matchup(s):</b> Dec.19 @ Philadelphia, Dec. 26 in Washington

09/12/04 @Minnesota
09/19/04 Cleveland
09/27/04 @Washington
10/10/04 NY Giants
10/17/04 Pittsburgh
10/24/04 @Green Bay
10/31/04 Detroit
11/07/04 @Cincinnati
11/15/04 Philadelphia
11/21/04 @Baltimore
11//25/04 Chicago
12/06/04 @Seattle
12/12/04 New Orleans
12/19/04 @Philadelphia
12/26/04 Washington
01/02/05 @NY Giants
Quarterback Vinny Testaverde #16 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to bring the Boys back to form.
Getty Images/Ronald Martinez

Star Power: RB Eddie George ( 6-3 235 ), WR Keyshawn Johnson ( 6-3 215 ), CB Terence Newman  ( 5-10 -190 ), DE Marcellus Wiley ( 6-5 282 )

Notable Additions: QB Vinny Testaverde, RB Eddie George, WR Keyshawn Johnson ( 6-3 215 ), CB Terence Newman  ( 5-10 -190 ), DE Marcellus Wiley ( 6-5 282 )

Notable Subtractions: QB Quincy Carter, RB Troy Hambrick, DE Ebenezer Ekuban, WR Joey Galloway

Offensive Overview: It wasn't that long ago that Vinny Testaverde was too old for the New York Jets. Now he is even older. But he is a Bill Parcells guy and that counts for a lot. Instead of the uncertainty the offense had with Quincy Carter, Testaverde will bring quiet efficiency. Despite his age, he can still lead the offense and with a familiar target, Keyshawn Johnson, he can reclaim the glory days he had previously under Parcells. Ball control, time management and winning the turnover battle is what will be stressed on offense and Dallas brought in Eddie George to run the ball. Many have said he is done, but he is the type of guy that the Raiders have brought in over the years – something to prove and an anger to go with it. Look for Testaverde to spread the ball around and George to take on the form that made him special as a Titan.

Defensive Overview: ‘A defense is to be feared,' Parcells would decree. And his defense in Dallas has the potential to again be among the best in the league. Roy Williams headlines the secondary and has become a fearsome hitter. Terence Newman is evolving into one of the great cover corners. Dat Nguyen leads the linebackers and up front they have a plethora of talent. After leading the league in fewest yards allowed in 2003, they are primed to be even better this year. The maturation of the secondary and edition of Marcellus Wiley up front has made opposing offenses cringe. Coach Parcells is just the guy to get Wiley back on track and getting sacks.

Special Teams Overview: Billy Cundiff was solid from inside 40 a year ago but early camp struggles could easily put him in the doghouse with the coach. New punter Mat McBriar is said to have a leg comparable to Darren Bennet. Ironically, it was Bennett who urged McBriar to test his wares in college. If the rookie is close to his mentor, he will be a positive for the Boys. The return game is a little unsettled with Julius Jones expected to get some shots at returns. Parcells impresses upon his troops the importance of special teams and they should do well, despite the lack of experience.

The Cowboys can win ten games this year. It won't be easy but Testaverde puts the offense in capable and stable hands. He knows that limiting turnovers will be essential to the team's success. The defense will be solid again and turning your back on a Parcells coached team is certain doom.

TheInsiders.com 2004 NFL Football Preview
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