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Offseason report cards

Evaluating each team's key moves, off-field events

Posted: Wednesday July 26, 2006 11:46AM; Updated: Wednesday July 26, 2006 2:12PM
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The Cowboys are confident that Terrell Owens will behave for head coach Bill Parcells.
The Cowboys are confident that Terrell Owens will behave for head coach Bill Parcells.

Since training camps are opening, it makes sense that we make a final evaluation of what has transpired around the league over the last few months. We're not just talking about drafts or free agency. We're talking about coaching hires, off-the-field issues, contract extensions ... anything that has made a team better or worse.




What Went Right: Love him or hate him, Terrell Owens makes Dallas a legitimate Super Bowl contender. He'll be on his best behavior and that should translate into at least 80 catches and double digits in touchdowns. Adding free agent Mike Vanderjagt finally gives the Cowboys a reliable place-kicker, and first-round pick Bobby Carpenter has the versatility at linebacker that coach Bill Parcells loves.

What Went Wrong: Guard Larry Allen left for San Francisco and the offensive line wasn't that good in the first place. It could be a long year for Drew Bledsoe and the running game if this unit doesn't mesh.

Grade: B+


What Went Right: The additions of LaVar Arrington and Sam Madison make a talented defense look downright scary. Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis should have no problem finding creative ways to utilize Arrington. Rookie defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka adds depth to a strong front four.

What Went Wrong: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress started looking like the guy who rubbed people the wrong way in Pittsburgh. He sent a negative message to teammates by ducking out on the final team meeting and then avoiding comment for months on his relationship with quarterback Eli Manning.

Grade: A-


What Went Right: They dumped Terrell Owens; that move alone should make it easier for them to focus on football. The best additions, however, were on defense. End Darren Howard should be a nice complement to Jevon Kearse, and tackle Broderick Bunkley, Philadelphia's first-round pick, should be a perfect fit in a rotation that will include Darwin Walker and Mike Patterson.

What Went Wrong: They still think they have enough offensive weapons around quarterback Donovan McNabb. They don't. Unless wide receiver Reggie Brown makes a huge leap in his second year -- which is something most young receivers don't do -- McNabb will be relying on Todd Pinkston, Greg Lewis and Jabar Gaffney to get things done on the outside. That's not a pretty picture.

Grade: C


What Went Right: They found more help for the passing game. With tight end Christian Fauria and wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd in the fold, Pro Bowl wideout Santana Moss should find more room to work outside. The hiring of offensive coordinator Al Saunders also should pay big dividends. He guided the Kansas City Chiefs' offense to record-setting numbers and could do the same in Washington. If that wasn't enough good news, the Redskins also learned that free safety Sean Taylor won't end up in jail.

What Went Wrong: They overpaid for some of these guys, especially Randle El and strong safety Adam Archuleta. But that's never bothered Dan Snyder before.

Grade: A