Without a doubt, there is one major focus for this Cowboys’ team in 2012 and that’s getting to the playoffs and possibly doing some postseason damage as well.
Team goals come first and that hasn’t changed. Obviously everyone from the front office, coaches, players and definitely the fans are hungry for that success.
I felt the need to preface that before mentioning a few interesting individual accomplishments that are on the horizon for the 2012 season.
For the stat geeks out there who love milestones, this season could, and should, have a few big ones. In fact, three to be exact could happen around the same time of the season.
The three main faces of this current team are all in position to break franchise records this year.
For starters, tight end Jason Witten is closing in on Michael Irvin’s all-time receptions record of 750. Witten is currently in second place with 696 receptions and needs just 55 catches to surpass “The Playmaker.” Witten has averaged more than 77 catches per season in his nine-year career and since his rookie season in 2003, Witten hasn’t had a season with less than 64 catches.
Next let’s go with DeMarcus Ware, who has 99.5 sacks, currently in fourth place in club history. But Ware needs 15 sacks to surpass Harvey Martin (114.0) as the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader. While the NFL didn’t make sacks an official stat until 1982, the Cowboys have always kept their own stats and still acknowledge Martin as the leader, followed by Randy White (111) and Ed Jones (106). That’s why there are some places where Ware is recognized as the all-time sack leader already. But after 15, he’ll have the most of any player in any era.
And quarterback Tony Romo can move up in the record books as well. While he currently ranks fourth in club history with 149 touchdown passes, just an average season would likely put Romo in first place, ahead of Troy Aikman and his 165 touchdown passes. Danny White (155) and Roger Staubach (153) are both currently ahead of Romo as well. But for a guy who threw 31 last year, getting to 17 shouldn’t be a problem as long as he stays healthy.
Those are three of the biggest milestones. Obviously, winning the team’s first division title since 2009 or getting a second playoff win since 1996 far outweigh those individual accomplishments. But for a season with so much hype already surrounding it, those are three more things to watch for.