Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/20/12
A lot of people are talking about the Cowboys like they are coming off of a 5-11 season.

The Dallas Cowboys had a very good statistical season last year and found insane ways to lose games.

Today I’ll be discussing what the Cowboys can do to fix those costly errors and possibly win the NFC East.
 
2011 Season
 
The Dallas Cowboys lost four games by less then four points last year. That’s not even counting the thriller in Arizona in overtime.

So that’s five games the Cowboys could have easily closed and won. The Cowboys went 8-8, if they fix those errors then you’re looking at a 13-3 home playoff game with a bye week.

 Counter Moves
 
The Dallas defense addressed its biggest need by signing and then drafting the two best corners available. The Cowboys were completely destroyed last year by the Giants' receiving corps; this was clearly a move to counter their threat at wide receiver.

This is also a big advantage for countering the Eagles who ran on them for 235 just in the first meeting. When you can man up on the outside, you can stack the box and take away that deadly rushing attack.
 
Tony Romo: The season hangs on Romo not making critical mistakes with the game on the line. When the team needed Romo the most last year to make a play, he let them down, and when the team needed Romo simply not to turn it over, he let them down.

Tony Romo statistically had one of the best seasons a quarterback can have, but he simply turned the ball over at the worst possible times. Romo is the guy at the race track, that if he bets on your horse you simply walk away, you have already lost, he is just that unlucky.
 
Offensive Line: If the Cowboys are going to win any games in 2012, they have to hope the patch-work offensive line holds up. Tony Romo can’t win games for them if he is laying on his back. Sometimes teams can get around with patch-work, but those teams don’t face the Giants' and Eagles' pass rush four times a year. Romo is a pocket passer and doesn’t like to use his legs so the offensive line has to hold up.
 
Coaching: All around needs to be better. If your offense takes you into a three touchdown lead, why are you still throwing the ball? Add to that, the Cowboys had one of the best rushing teams before the injury to Murray. The coaches just need to make better decisions than that and make teams beat them the hard way.
 
Defense: The defense just needs to perform better; last year was a complete failure. I expect Rob Ryan to turn this defense around with his shiny new cornerbacks, Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. I expect Dallas to have a top ten defense in 2012.
 
Dez Bryant: Dez Bryant is one of the best wideouts in the game during the first half, but he has to keep his level of play up in the second half of games. Bryant has had a bad tendency of disappearing late in games when Romo needs him the most.

Bryant needs a mentor and to cut the off-the-field issues out before he gets suspended or worse. I’m not going to assume guilty until proven innocent with the incident with his mother, but it’s also not the first incident.

I know that the Giants and the Eagles are the favorites in the NFC East. I’m not crazy and Giants were being projected to miss the playoffs last season and ended up winning the Super Bowl.

The NFC East is wide open every single year and the Cowboys have just as much of a shot as the Giants or Eagles. Every year there is one or two teams that nobody picked to do anything, last year it was the 49ers and Giants, this year it could be the Cowboys.
 
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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