The Dallas Cowboys are an interesting case for Madden NFL 25. They haven’t really done much in free agency due to extremely limited cap space. They have been extremely solid in Madden over the last few seasons (Pat Watkins, Teddy Williams); however, they have fallen from their #1 ranking in Madden NFL 09. What positions will they need if they want to burst into the top 5 in Madden NFL 25?
QB: Despite losing another big game, Tony Romo once again had solid numbers that led to nowhere. He has never burst past the “Rodgers Speed Threshold” that is the minimum need to beat slower defenders on the QB spy. He won’t really sustain a Read Option-style attack, so his arm will need to be top tier. While incredibly solid, he doesn’t have the Stafford- or Brady-like cannon but does balance it all out with his decent foot speed.
HB: Felix Jones never made the Madden impact we thought his raw physical speed would allow. He has sneak poor hands out of the backfield for a back of his style. DeMarco Murray has pretty good speed for his style of running but will need a big healthy season to be anything but a solid “Steven Jackson” type who never really translated to making huge plays.
WR/TE: Dallas has some studs in the passing game, but they will need Dez Bryant to go from a very good player to “Megatron” level if they want to be great. Miles Austin is losing ground, and Jason Witten, while reliable with his CIT, isn’t a great option to stretch defenses anymore. Kevin Ogletree will need to be tougher in the middle of the field, to go along with his solid athletic ability. Losing Marty B hurt their dual TE game, but James Hanna is a complete sleeper who can be huge depending on how the game plays this season!
Defense: Dallas is shifting to a 4-3 defense with Monte Kiffin taking the reins over from Rob Ryan. They lost Dan Connor to their division rival, so they will need star LB Sean Lee to recover from his season-ending injury last season.
Key Signing: Ernie Sims
While Sims has never quite delivered on his insane ratings on the field, he is still a solid speed guy. Despite his decreases, he can still be effective in a limited role. In Big D, he doesn’t need to be the featured guy (Ware, Spencer, Lee). He can easily fit in and be a nice asset to control on the defense.
With Ratliff and Ware, who may be listed as a DE in the 4-3, the Cowboys will have tremendous versatility on how to set up their front seven, and this will be able to confuse opponents before the snap.
In the secondary, Dallas got solid play from Brandon Carr, who outshone rookie Morris Claiborne, who rallied and finished the season strong. Claiborne has great athletic ability and should be able to match up against most #1s around the league next year.
Dallas does lose Gerald Sensabaugh to FA, but he was a slower player who can hopefully be upgraded from an athletic perspective. They could use some hit power in the secondary as well. While Michael Huff would be a great fit, he reportedly won’t be waiting around for Dallas to make room.
Overall: If Dallas wants to jump back into the top 5, they will have to increase their hit power in the secondary and upgrade at safety. Offensively, DeMarco Murray will have to take it to the next level and get some ratings boosts in the process. For players who like purely balanced attacks, Dallas is in the top 5 mix with NYG, HOU, ATL, DEN, and BAL. They likely won’t crack into the tournament scene, though, with our top 3 (49ers, Packers, and Seahawks).
Who would you like to see Dallas select in the 2013 draft? Leave it in the comments!