SI.com 2003 NFL Preview



 
   Dallas
COWBOYS  
2002 Record: 5-11
Head Coach: Bill Parcells
138-100-1 overall, 11-6 postseason
TEAM LEADERS
  Passing Chad Hutchinson
127-250, 1,555 yards, 7 TDs, 8 INTs
  Rushing Emmitt Smith
254 carries, 975 yards, 5 TDs
  Receiving Joey Galloway
61 catches, 908 yards, 6 TDs
  Kicking Bill Cundiff
12-19 FGs, 25-25 PATs, 61 points
Schedule | Roster | Statistics | Stadium
By B. Duane Cross, SI.com

What's in the Hall of Fame that cannot wait? In Bill Parcell's case, apparently not much.

While Hall voters weighed the Tuna's credentials for induction, Parcells was busy weighing his options, first with Tampa Bay in 2002 and this year with Dallas. In the end, he wasn't voted in either year, and this time the Cowboys hooked him to end three consecutive 5-11 seasons.

And these aren't your daddy's Cowboy's either -- or even your older brother's. The exit of Emmitt Smith marked the end of the 1990s 'Boys. Instead, Parcells will cast his lot with the likes of Chad Hutchinson, Quincy Carter, Troy Hambrick and Michael Wiley.

But there is hope, even if it's only a glimmer. Dallas was 18th in defense last season, ranking 15th against the run and 19th in passing. Offensively, the team was 30th overall -- 31st in passing.

While the loss of DT Brandon Noble to Washington will hurt (especially since he'll line up against Dallas twice a year), the prospect of Roy Williams and Terence Newman roaming the defensive backfield is worth the investment of blood, sweat and tears for Cowboys fans.

The signing of FB Richie Anderson also could prove to be significant. He's a proven receiver who will give the Dallas offense an added dimension that has been lacking the previous seasons.

When -- not if -- Parcells settles the QB and RB positions, the Cowboys will be primed for another ride toward glory. In the meantime, fans should saddle up for another rough ride.

>> Impact Signing
WR Terry Glenn -- Look at it this way: At least "she" didn't cost as much as Joey Galloway, even if Glenn blows out a knee. Now with his third team in as many years, Glenn bided his time in Green Bay last year as a mentor to the Packers' young receivers. His reward was being traded to Dallas -- and a chance to again be a factor on gameday.

Glenn is reunited with his former Patriots head coach, and hopes to help return the Pokes to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Teamed with Galloway and second-year WR Antonio Bryant, this trio only needs someone to get the ball to 'em.

>> Impact Loss
RB Emmitt Smith -- Give the NFL's career rushing king his due, he still wants to compete. Smith ran to Arizona in the offseason after being released by the 'Boys because what mattered most is the chance to get the ball as the go-to back. Of course, $8 million over two years didn't hurt, either.

However, the loss of Smith will impact the Cowboys. Troy Hambrick and Michael Wiley will duke it out for the starter's job, but the fact is those two combined are only 15,735 yards behind Smith.

>> Fantasy Stud
WR Joey Galloway -- There aren't a lot of great fantasy choices in Big D, but the Cowboys do have two decent wideouts in Galloway and the emerging Antonio Bryant, who both scored six TDs last season. Galloway led the team with 908 receiving yards, including three 100-yard efforts. He's nowhere as dangerous as he used to be during his days with Seattle, but he's still a capable receiver with the ability to pull off a few big plays here and there.

>> Fantasy Dud
WR Terry Glenn -- He wasn't one of Bill Parcells' favorite players, but Glenn did have an 1,100-yard season on his watch back in 1996. Since then, he's been full of promise but never living up to his potential. He had his moments last year for Green Bay, but his overall numbers weren't all that impressive, and that's with Brett Favre throwing at him. The Cowboys' quarterbacks aren't anywhere near Favre's quality, and Glenn will still have to battle Galloway and Bryant for catches.

>> Fantasy Sleeper
TE Jason Witten -- Bill Parcells likes using the tight end in his offense, and that opens up room for Witten, a third-round pick who had been touted as a potential first-round pick. Witten is a solid pass-catching TE who should find his way into the starting lineup immediately given the lack of talent on the team. It wouldn't be a surprise if he matched last year's college numbers of 39-493-5, which would put him among the league's top tight ends.

>> Cowboys will make the playoffs because ...
Bill Parcells' will to win can overcome a woefully talent-deprived roster. Jerry Jones didn't reel in the Tuna for show; he expects double-digit wins.

>> Cowboys will miss the playoffs because ...
There's not a lot of confidence under center, which will take its toll at crunch time. Quincy Carter or Chad Hutchinson? At this time, there's not much difference.

Dallas Cowboys
Signed  From  Lost  To 
T Flozell Adams  Re-signed  G Jeremy McKinney  Released 
P Toby Gowin  Saints  RB Robert Thomas  Released 
WR Terry Glenn  Trade w/ G.B. CB Dwayne Goodrich  Released 
FB Richie Anderson  Jets  DT Brandon Noble  Redskins 
T Ryan Young  Texans  WR Raghib Ismail  Released 
TE Dan Campbell  Giants  RB Emmitt Smith  Cardinals 
LB Al Singleton  Buccaneers  LB Kevin Hardy  Bengals 
S Lynn Scott  Re-signed  DE Peppi Zellner  Redskins 
CB Donald Mitchell  Titans  T Solomon Page  Chargers 
RB Michael Wiley  Re-signed  G Ross Tucker  Bills 
CB Mario Edwards  Re-signed     
K Ola Kimrin  --     
QB Clint Stoerner  Re-signed     
DT Michael Myers  Re-signed     
Unrestricted  Restricted 
TE Mike Lucky   
WR Darnay Scott   

2003 Draft Picks
Rd.  Pick  Player  Pos.  School 
5 (5)  Terence Newman  CB  Kansas State  
6 (38)  Al Johnson  Wisconsin  
5 (69)  Jason Witten  TE  Tennessee  
6 (103)  Bradie James  OLB  LSU  
5 (178)  B.J. Tucker  CB  Wisconsin  
13 (186)  Zuriel Smith  WR  Hampton  
5 (219)  Justin Bates  OT  Colorado  
 

 


 
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