Dallas is looking for some legitimacy, as they are trying to get back into the playoffs. The Cowboys traded up to take Morris Claiborne to help solidify an awful secondary. He will be expected to start immediatedly and contribute as Dallas had an average defense last season finishing 14th overall. This is so dissapointing because of the expectations in Dallas, the defensive stars they have in Dallas like Demarcus Ware and Brandon Carr. The Cowboys also have Anthony Spencer and Sean Lee. The pressure is on for Rob Ryan as his exotic blitzes need to disrupt the opponents offense. The time is running out for the Cowboys, and with such high expectations and with Jerry Jones trying to make as many moves to help out the team. First with Dez Bryant, then with Brandon Carr, and the addidtion of Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys defense needs to improve if Dallas tries to get through the NFC East.
The pressure isn't all on the defense as Tony Romo needs to prove that he can not only lead his team to the playoffs but through the playoffs as well. Romo has been getting a lot of slack and quite frankly he deserves most of it. The notion that he is as good as Eli Manning is a fallacy. Romo's stats are comparable to Eli's but Romo has cost the Cowboys a lot more than Eli has cost the Giants. The two games that come to mind is the game against Detroit where Romo threw three interceptions including two returned for a touchdown. The other game was essentially a playoff game against the Giants, where Eli simply outclassed Romo as Eli dominated the Cowboys defense. Now all the blame cant simply off on Romo, he was playing hurt with a punctured lung and had to run for his life because his offensive line was awful. The Cowboys also need for Myles Austin to remain healthy and all of Dallas is hoping that Dez Bryant can simply play and stay out of trouble.
Their are certainly pieces that Dallas could make the playoffs, but the Eagles also look good on paper, the Giants still look very formidable, and who knows what problems the Redskins and Griffin III can give Dallas. I think the Giants finish close to where they finished last year, by going 8-8 or even worse and will go back to the drawing boards again.