Wide receiver André Davis makes a catch over safety Ken Hamlin.
The Dallas Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record last year, gaining the top seed in the NFC playoffs. But after failing to win a playoff game, Dallas is looking to improve on last year's success.
Wade Phillips enters his second season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and is the only head coach in franchise history to have previous experience coaching high school, college and professional football teams in the state of Texas.
Quarterback: QB Tony Romo returns after a Pro Bowl 2007 season to lead the Cowboys offensively. Last year, he set club records by throwing for 4,211 yards and 36 touchdowns and finished the season as the NFC's top rated passer with a rating of 97.4. Romo is very elusive and instinctive in the pocket and relies on a quick release, solid arm strength and excellent accuracy.
Running back: Joining Romo in the Cowboys' backfield are running backs Marion Barber and their 2008 first-round draft pick Felix Jones. Barber has shown great strength and quickness and ran 204 times for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2007, this all while not starting a single regular season game. Jones earned All-America honors as a kick returner and second team All-SEC honors as a running back in his junior season at Arkansas last year.
Wide receiver/Tight end: Terrell Owens enters his third season with the Cowboys. Owens found the end zone 15 times on 81 catches (second on the team) with a team-best 1,355 yards last season, which earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl. Patrick Crayton compliments Owens on the other side of the field, where he caught the ball 50 times for 697 yards and seven touchdowns. Behind the top two pass catchers are a few younger players fighting for the third and fourth wide receiver spots, including: Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback, undrafted rookie Danny Amendola and Miles Austin, who will miss the next month after spraining his right MCL in Saturday's preseason loss to the Denver. At tight end, Jason Witten is coming off his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl season where he established franchise tight end records for catches with 96 and receiving yards with 1,145.
Offensive line: At left tackle, Flozell Adams anchors an impressive offensive line. Adams has been named to four of the past five Pro Bowls and is regarded as one of the NFL's most productive and powerful offensive linemen. Next to Adams at left guard is Kyle Kosier. Center Andrew Gurode was voted to his second Pro Bowl last season, joining Adams and right guard Leonard Davis as starters for the NFC squad in 2007. Shoring up the strong side of the offensive line is right tackle Marc Colombo.
Defensive line: The Cowboys starting defensive ends were both drafted by Dallas in the 2005 NFL Draft. Their first round pick, Marcus Spears, holds down the left side of the line with Chris Canty, drafted in the fourth round, taking care of the right side. Jay Ratliff stops up the middle with ex-Chicago Bear defensive tackle Tank Johnson helping out.
Linebacker: Dallas has a very talented linebacking corp that starts with DeMarcus Ware, one of the best pass rushers in the league. Last season, Ware finished second in the NFL, first among linebackers, with a club linebacker record 14 sacks and started in his second consecutive Pro Bowl. The outside linebackers are Greg Ellis and Bradie James. Ellis was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2007 after setting a career-high 12.5 sacks and 13 quarterback pressures. James was elected as the defensive captain by his teammates in 2007. The signing of Zach Thomas in the offseason brings a load of talent and experience to the middle linebacker position. The Cowboys' first round draft pick in the 2006 NFL draft, Bobby Carpenter, backs up Thomas.
Secondary: The Cowboys secondary is hoping cornerback Adam Jones will be reinstated by the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. If he is reinstated by the league, the Cowboys may have one of the most talented secondaries in the NFL. Terrance Newman, a 2007 Pro Bowl selection at cornerback, picked off four interceptions last season to go along with 15 pass breakups. Cornerback Anthony Henry led the team with six interceptions in 2007. The Cowboys second first-round draft pick in 2008, Mike Jenkins, will battle with the starters at corner for playing time. Ken Hamlin, who was the starter for the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl last year, teams with Roy Williams to form one of the NFL's hardest-hitting tandems at safety.
Kicking: In 2007, Nick Folk became the first Cowboys rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Emmitt Smith in 1990. He finished fourth in the NFL in scoring among kickers (second in the NFC) with 131 points. Matt McBriar handles all punting duties.
Receiving: Wide receiver Patrick Crayton fields punts for the Cowboys, but Adam Jones is one of the best return men in the league. Before he can truly compete for the punt return job, he has to be reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Running back Felix Jones and wide receiver Miles Austin will return kicks for the team this season.