Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Interview by Dewey Hammond.
Q: The Cowboys open the season on the road against the Redskins and Donovan McNabb. What do you see this year for Tony Romo & Co?
A: I think they’re going to fall off a little bit. They have a bear of a schedule, very high expectations. They added basically one player, offensive lineman Alex Barron, an underachiever from the Rams. They did get Dez Bryant but he’s a live on the edge guy. The one thing I don’t like about Dallas is the same thing I don’t like about the Raiders. When you have an owner GM in charge, they sign anybody and everybody. Guys like Dez Bryant, they get Alex Barron, Martellus Bennett, Mike Jenkins — these are all guys who live on the edge — in the past they’ve had Pacman, Antonio Bryant, Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson. They get too many of them. The Raiders do. Even the Bengals do, and although I like the Bengals as a team with talent, all those guys I just mentioned, a lof of them are now on the Bengals. When you run your team through ownership, I think that hurts you in the long run. Until Jerry Jones steps back and they get a real GM, they’ll continue to be overrated. And I think they could fall back this year. Their offensive line will be challenged in pass protection, their outside tackles — they have a good young defense but a lot of teams do. The expectations and too many character guys...
Q: What do you expect this season from Roy Williams and Dez Bryant?
A: Roy Williams has been overrated since he came out. He’s not really a team guy. He’s a flash-down-the-field guy. I expect him to struggle. I think Miles Austin will be their key component, plus Jason Witten and the running game. Dez Bryant, when gets healthy, will start slowly but have flashes of brilliance as he moves on. I think the second half of the season he’ll be productive. As talented as he is it takes a while for wideout rookies to learn the routes and that sort of thing. He’ll be good but they’ll ease him in, and you won’t see him put up good numbers until the second part of the season.
Q: Do you expect Dez to push Miles Austin out of the lineup?
A: If Dez is in the lineup I expect he’ll take a lot of balls from Miles Austin. But if Dez starts slowly — and Roy Williams is the same guy: 40 catches, inconsistent, doesn’t run good routes — then Miles is still the guy. He’ll have a big year but it depends on how quickly they stick Bryant in there. With him on there with Austin that’ll be a dynamic duo. But Roy Williams is average and that’s why the Lions got rid of him.
Q: When you look at the Dallas Cowboys do you see a Super Bowl team?
A: I don’t. I see a top 10 team but not a Super Bowl team. There is too much drama with the owner. That takes away from them. He’s too on the radar. You have to be off the radar to bring the best out of your team. People rating them so highly, and they’re a good team, but they haven’t won a Super Bowl in years, and at the end of the day I think they’ll fall short again this year. That owner hurts them more than it helps them.
Q: What knocks them out of the playoffs, assuming they get to the playoffs?
A: I think one thing is expectations. Tony Romo has never played his best games in the playoffs. He’s a good quarterback but he’s not a Super Bowl QB yet. They don’t have a lot of depth at offensive tackle. He’s going to be running for his life a lot this year. More so than in the past. Their defense is solid but the expectations coupled with the offensive line will end up hurting them in the long run, I think.