How to fix the Cowboys, Part II

November, 2, 2010
11/02/10
10:00
AM ET
Ok, you've had time to digest Part I of how to fix the Cowboys. Well let's get to Part II.

This entire season has now turned into baseball when a team like the Washington Nationals or Pittsburgh Pirates have those September callups and want to see how that young kid handles big league pitching. In the case of the Cowboys it's like the New York Yankees of the late 1980s: High-priced talent that goes nowhere.

Part II:

6. Make Dez Bryant the main returner
Here's the deal, rookie Dez Bryant has speed, moves and the ability to score on returns. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah showed that ability in Division II football but is not showing it in the NFL. Owusu-Ansah's ankle injury possibly gives the Cowboys a chance to give Bryant a full-time role here on special teams. Bryant wants the ball in his hands every play. So the Cowboys should give it to him. He's returned two punts for scores this season and isn't afraid of the contact associated with returning kicks.
"I think we utilize him in ways we like to," coach Wade Phillips said. "You'd like to have him for every play certainly, the way he's starting to play. But he still makes mistakes. He still has things he can learn. We're trying to develop him."

[+] EnlargeJason Williams
AP Photo/Paul SpinelliJason Williams has only seen action in 10 games since being the Cowboys' first draft selection in 2009, and he's been inactive for three games this season.
7. Cut Jason Williams
The Cowboys first draft pick of the 2009 draft has made a little impact. An ankle injury slowed him down in 2009 but out of a possible 23 games, Williams has participated in just 10. The inside linebacker doesn't have the trust of the coaches in pass coverage and isn't good enough to even play special teams. He did have bright spots on the unit, but inconsistency has him on the bench. He's been inactive the last two games, three overall in 2010. Cutting Williams won't create headlines but he probably needs to find another scheme to work in.

8. Sign a cornerback
When the Cowboys released Cletis Gordon in training camp it was of the thought that three corners along with safety Alan Ball could man the position. With Terence Newman nicked up with a rib injury and playing well overall, the other two corners, Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins, have struggled. Now teams are not targeting Newman as much as Jenkins, but the corners have not made plays on the ball consistency. Adding another corner, whether it be a veteran or moving rookie Bryan McCann from the practice squad, could provide some depth to a position that needs it.

9. Bring players in for workouts
A few weeks ago the Cowboys brought in several players for workouts at Valley Ranch. The team signed fullback Alex Daniels to the practice squad after one of these workouts. Under previous coach Bill Parcells, working out free agents was the norm, but not under Phillips. However, Phillips will say he does allow for workouts of free agents, but it's clear he doesn't want to churn the bottom half of the roster. NFL personnel people are split as to whether or not working out players keeps the lower half of the roster hungry. With the Cowboys in such dire straits, maybe they need to do it more often.

10. Play Sam Young more
The sixth-round pick from Notre Dame hasn't played this season, but the tackle should get some time, a few snaps here and there in place of starting right tackle Marc Colombo. The Cowboys need to find out if some of their young players can play long-term and while Young is a rookie, if he does well in small doses, it gives the organization hope about the quality of depth at this position. The Cowboys didn't know what they had in Doug Free until he played some games last year for an injured Colombo and when he replaced Flozell Adams at left tackle in the playoff loss to Minnesota, it also gave the team a boost that he could play the most important position on the offensive line.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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