With the NFL draft behind us and a lockout raging on, the opportunities to talk about real football are becoming fewer and fewer. That being the case, I have sought out bloggers that cover teams that the Lions will play in the 2011 season to get a glimpse into what is going on with those teams.
Granted, this exercise presumes that no games will be lost due to the lockout. That might be a big step of faith, especially in regards to the preseason games, but I have a hard time operating under any other assumption. I know what happens when one assumes, let’s hope the labor situation doesn’t prove the old saying true. These Q&As aren’t meant to be any sort of game preview, it is obviously way too early for that. The subject teams may end up looking much different when the Lions play them compared to how they look now, but I anticipate this being a good introduction to each teams’ hopes, fears, needs, expectations, etc.
The Lions will look to make their second trip to Jerry World better than their first in a week four game against the Dallas Cowboys. I was able to send some questions to Josh Sanchez, the editor at The Landry Hat, and he was kind enough to provide responses. Here we go…
Zac Snyder: What is your take on the Cowboys draft?
Josh Sanchez: I wasn’t really a fan of the Tyron Smith pick. The defense has the most holes and a guy like Prince Amukamara or JJ Watt would have been able to help out there. Smith is a pick based on his upside and I prefer to get a more NFL ready player. I see what direction the team was going though. Deeper in the draft, I think the team got a lot of good value. I personally loved the Shaun Chapas pick and think he’ll win a job and start at fullback from day one.
ZS: Now that Jason Garrett is done “waiting in the wings” and is heading into his first full year as coach, will he live up to the hype?
JS: He did well as the interim guy last season, so I see no reason why he wouldn’t continue to improve even more. The offense is going to be a lot more aggressive, as is the defense with Rob Ryan. All of the players seem to love playing for Garrett and if they start off winning early, the confidence in him will only grow.
ZS: What are Cowboys fans current feelings towards Jerry Jones and is there any worry he’ll turn in to Al Davis?
JS: A lot of fans admit that Jerry needs to take a step back, but they respect his desire to win. Jerry is still bringing in quality players, so until he just goes after the biggest and fastest guys I don’t think we have to worry about Al Davis 2.0.
ZS: With the Lions game against the Cowboys still a long way off, what is something you want to see change with the team between now and then?
JS: I want that secondary to be addressed. Once the lockout is over, Dallas needs to go after a top tier safety and perhaps a veteran corner. Against the Lions, they will need their secondary to play well or else Stafford and Megatron will have a field day.
ZS: What are your expectations for the Cowboys in 2011
JS: Super Bowl or bust! No, truthfull, I fully expect them to return to the playoffs. The team got off to a slow start last year and Romo’s injury didn’t do them any favors. With a solid coaching staff and better team chemistry, there is no reason they should not be able to get 10-6 and have a shot at the Super Bowl. The talent is there, they just need to play to their potential.