It's been a very long 16 years for Dallas Cowboys' fans everywhere. Almost two decades have passed since the 'Boys have been champions in the NFL, with only one playoff win to since 1996. The days of Troy Aikman and Emmit Smith are long gone, but the expectations for America's team have never changed.
In order for the Cowboys to reach the promised land, the defensive unit needs to produce in a major way. The offense has been solid for a number of seasons under Tony Romo, with the ability to be explosive when necessary.
The Cowboys ranked in the top 14 in points per game, and the top 10 in yards per game. Unfortunately the team defense was No. 16 in the league in points surrendered and especially bad against the pass, giving up 244.1 yards per contest.
The most glaring problem last year was the inability to close out games. Not only did the Cowboys squander four different fourth quarter leads, but against the Detroit Lions, they gave up a 24 point third quarter lead.