IRVING, Texas -- It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for Five Wonders, but it's too easy to wonder if the Dallas Cowboys will win five games this year.
Away we go:
I'm going to say it and stand by it and I know I will get crushed by it: I wonder if the Cowboys did the wrong thing in benching and then cutting Brandon Weeden. Yes, the Cowboys were 0-3 in his three starts, but he didn't have Dez Bryant, who was out with a broken foot, and he didn't have the benefit of an improved if somewhat inconsistent running game. He completed 72.2 percent of his passes. He did what the coaches told him to do. Should he have taken some chances? Sure. He wasn't perfect, but I'd think the Cowboys would have at least won two games with him as the starter eventually. OK, I said my peace. Go ahead and fire away.
I'd like to give thanks to Tim Cowlishaw and Matt Mosley at ESPN 103.3 FM for this wonder: If you had to pick a Most Valuable Player for the Cowboys, who would it be? I wondered if it would be Dan Bailey. He's missed just one field goal all year. Maybe Darren McFadden gets some votes. Jason Witten recorded the 1,000th career catch and has played in 200 straight games. If you want to be snarky, Tony Romo could receive the award because the team went 3-1 in his starts and fallen apart without him. It will be interesting to see who wins the award at next summer's kickoff luncheon.
I wonder if the Cowboys will have a talk with the schedule makers this offseason. Now there's a lot that comes with the dinner, as Jason Garrett likes to say, when you play for the Cowboys. They will play the maximum amount of primetime games allowed each season. Before I go any further, I'm not using this as an excuse as to why the Cowboys are 4-9. The Cowboys had a short week to get ready for the Green Bay Packers after a Monday night game at Washington. They have a short week this week with a Saturday game against the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium after a road game at Green Bay. Last year the Cowboys were hosed going into the Thanksgiving by having a night game on the road before playing the Philadelphia Eagles on the holiday. The Cowboys made note of that turnaround to the league and shouldn't face that kind of scenario again.
I wonder if Bailey will make the Pro Bowl. It's difficult for a kicker to make it because only two are picked. I'd think Stephen Gostkowski from the New England Patriots would make it. Bailey has made 25 of 26 attempts on the season and he had the big 54-yarder to beat the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football that will help him some considering how many players across the league are watching. Justin Tucker if the Baltimore Ravens will be a popular pick but he has missed seven attempts this season.
I wonder what the Cowboys will do with restricted free agents Ronald Leary and Jeff Heath. The right of first refusal tender should be about $1.65 million. Leary could be a popular player in restricted free agency because of his starting experience. I wonder if the Cowboys would consider putting the second-round tender on Leary, which would be about $2.5 million. That might make a team shy away from an offer sheet. The Cowboys will need Leary because Mackenzy Bernadeau will be an unrestricted free agent. Leary can start for most teams and the Cowboys would be wise to keep him because of injuries. Heath is the Cowboys best special teamer and nobody wants to hear this: he's not bad defensively either. I can see the Cowboys paying him $1.65 million next year or even trying to give him a short extension with some guaranteed money.